A former daycare worker at the Wylie Baptist Child Development Center is facing both state and federal child sex crime charges.
23-year-old Benjamin Russell Roberts has been charged with indecency with a child and continuous sexual abuse of a child. He posted a $100,000 bond and was released on those charges on August 22. However, he was arrested again on August 28 on new federal charges after a forensic team discovered 400 images of child pornography on his computer.
Roberts was originally arrested in March. Police first became aware of Roberts after a child pornography investigation led them to his home in north Abilene. A total of eight victims have accused Roberts of sexual abuse, and police witnessed six of the alleged incidents while reviewing surveillance footage from Wylie Baptist Church. The alleged assaults took place both at the daycare center and at Roberts' home.
Attorney contributor Marc Lenahan helps the victims of sexual violence get justice and financial compensation. We've asked him to add some information on the legal options for families affected by child sexual abuse in daycares and preschools:
Childcare is a necessity for many Americans, as the demands of the work world often prevent parents from looking over their young children during the day. Daycares, preschools, and other childcare providers are supposed to be safe spaces where our kids can learn new things and make new friends. But unfortunately, like virtually any other field involving children, a small number of daycare employees are sexual predators.
Finding out that your child may have been sexually abused is an unimaginably difficult and painful experience. Many families want to find some sense of justice during this difficult time. This justice can be found through both the criminal justice and civil court systems.
While the police will handle prosecuting the perpetrator, you can take your own legal action against the facility if they failed to keep your child safe due to negligence. For example, a daycare could be considered negligent for failing to fire an employee after reports of sexual abuse or for failing to run a background check on a new employee with a history of sexual abuse.
If you'd like to learn more about your family's legal options, we advise discussing your case with an experienced sexual abuse victims lawyer.