According to KXAN, an employee at Reggio Emilia Multilingual Preschool Academy has been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Steven Ahlberg is accused of sexually abusing a 5-year-old that attends the preschool. The abuse allegedly occurred between November 2017 and October 2018. The child, now eight, told her family about the abuse in November 2020.
The victim reported that the abuse happened on more than one occasion. Following the alleged abuse, the young girl allegedly had increased anxiety about her clothing choice and began wetting her bed.
Ahlberg admitted to having sexual contact with the victim in an interview with a detective.
Attorney Contributor Marc Lenahan, an experienced sexual assault lawyer, represents families in civil lawsuits. We asked Marc to provide insight into the rights of victims sexually abused at daycare and their families. He said the following:
"Parents enroll their children at daycares expecting their children to be safe and treated respectfully. Daycares have a legal responsibility to uphold the safety of any child in their care. Unfortunately, there have been reports of staff across the country taking advantage of their positions and sexually abusing children. Daycares must ensure they have ample safety measures in place to protect the children in their care. Examples of safety measures include, but are not limited to, child-friendly reporting systems or safety monitors. If daycares fail to provide ample safety measures, the daycare may be considered liable if abuse occurs."
"If a daycare is deemed negligent in the sexual abuse that occurred, the victim and their family may have grounds for a civil lawsuit. For example, if a daycare ignored misconduct reports about an employee or did not provide safety measures, the daycare could be considered negligent in a court of law. In negligence cases, the victim's family may have grounds for a civil lawsuit if their lawyer can prove the daycare was negligent. The victim's family should secure the services of an experienced sexual abuse lawyer to explore all their options."