According to OC Today, a sexual abuse investigation is underway into the Friends Forever Learning Center located at 11010 Worcester Hwy, Berlin, MD 21811.
In September 2021 72-year-old Paul Edward Whitehead was accused of sexually abusing a 3-year-old at the daycare. The victim was taken to Tidal Health after she revealed that a man named "Mr. Eddie" from the Friends Forever Learning Center forced her and another child to touch his genitals. Whitehead is the daycare owner's boyfriend who is said to help with the children.
The second victim, a 4-year-old, told her mother that they touch each other and that "Mr. Eddie" touches them too. She said that in addition to him showing his penis to the children, he makes them touch it. The victim also said that he told them not to tell their parents.
The daycare owner, Marsha Jarman, was told that Whitehead is not to go to the daycare again. He was arrested on December 18, 2021, and is facing felony charges including second-degree rape, sexual abuse of a minor, third-degree sex offense, fourth-degree sexual offense involving sexual contact, and second-degree assault.
Attorney contributor Aaron Blank is an experienced sex abuse victim lawyer who represents victims and their families in civil lawsuits within the state of Maryland. During a recent interview, he shared how filing a lawsuit can help victims sexually abused at daycare get the justice they deserve.
"Parents entrust their children to daycare workers to keep them safe during the day. This includes the safety, education, and development of the children. However, trust can be betrayed in the most unimaginable ways. When sexual abuse occurs at a daycare, it is crucial that the truth is revealed and those involved are held accountable."
"No parent should have to live with the trauma of their child being sexually molested at a daycare. When this happens, however, we must investigate to see if the abuse could have been prevented. If someone in authority had intervened, they could have prevented the abuse. For daycares to get licensed, certain safety policies should be in place for prevention and reporting, requiring background checks for all employees. If an agency failed to ensure the daycare was up to par on all safety protocols, they could be held liable."
"Daycare sexual abuse victims and their families are urged to seek legal advice from an experienced sex abuse victim lawyer. The lawyer can examine the case to identify all parties who might be held liable for the abuse."