Crime
Crime

Day Care Shut Down After Sexual Assault Allegations (Photos)

| by Lauren Briggs

A Philadelphia day care center is shuttering its windows for good after police said at least two children were sexually assaulted by its owner.

Duncan Round, a 53-year-old man who ran the business for almost 10 years, was arrested on Aug. 2 after the Department of Human Services began an investigation on July 25 and determined that Round raped the children on separate occasions, reports KYW. Police said that there might be more victims.

"We went out to the location, the day care, executed a search warrant and processed the scene with the crime scene unit, and we did recover some evidence on location there," Philadelphia Police Capt. Mark Burgmann said, according to KYW.

At the end of July, the health department investigated and found several health and safety violations. Considering the gravity of the accusations against Round, the day care center was shut down permanently on Aug. 3.

"The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Human Services, hereby determines that the conditions existing at [Sprouts Preschool] … constitute gross incompetence, negligence and misconduct in operating a facility likely to constitute immediate and serious danger to the life of health of the children in care," reads the court order. "Accordingly, the Department hereby orders that all children be removed from the facility forthwith."

At his Aug. 3 arraignment, Round was charged with 12 felonies, including rape and unlawful contact with a minor. He has posted a portion of his $200,000 bail.

"We conducted immediate forensic interviews at Philadelphia Children’s Alliance,” said Philadelphia Police Capt. Mark Burgmann during a press conference Wednesday. “At that time, both children disclosed that they were indeed sexually assaulted by the offender.”

The investigation began after both children -- each of whom had been in Round's care on multiple occasions -- began acting strangely.

"We got an email one or two weeks ago, saying there was an investigation," said Long Lam, a parent. "I didn't know it was this serious."

According to Adrian King, who said that his wife worked at the establishment eight years ago when it was a preschool, Round always had trouble in his personal life. 

King said he was "surprised it lasted this long." 

"This is beyond repair," said George Tadross, whose child went to the day care center, according to WCAU. "I don't care what they do. I will never send my kids there."

Others were more hesitant to believe the reports.

"Duncan is a great guy," said parent Steven O'Toole. "He loves kids. This is a great place. You feel like family here and it's all just a shame."

Sources: KYW (2), WCAU / Featured Photo Credit: tylerhoff/Flickr / Embedded Images: KYW

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