On Wednesday, September 18, Leigh County District Attorney Jim Martin announced that a man who lived at his mother’s in-home daycare in Whitehall Township has been charged with sexually abusing 3 young girls at the daycare.
22-year-old Zachary Zimmerman has been charged with three counts of indecent assault and one count of aggravated indecent assault – both second-degree felonies. He has also been charged with one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, which are both first-degree felonies.
The three victims attended A Lot Like Home Daycare at 2307 North First Avenue between 2011 and 2017. They told police that Zimmerman had inappropriate sexual contact with them while they attended the daycare.
At the time of the alleged abuse, Zimmerman lived at the home daycare. In two of the cases, he was a teenager at the time of the abuse.
Zimmerman was arraigned on the morning of September 18 and his bail was set at $75,000.
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is permitting the daycare to continue operating while the department completes its investigation. The DHS has contacted parents and guardians of children who attended the daycare to tell them about the allegations and Zimmerman’s arrest.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is a former sex crimes prosecutor who now represents victims of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits. Brian has some general information to share on the legal rights of daycare sex abuse victims and their families:
Daycares and other businesses that involve caring for children have a crucial responsibility to make sure those children are safe. When children are physically or sexually abused at a daycare, it’s important to determine if the people in charge of the daycare failed in their legal duty to protect the children under their watch.
Families affected by daycare sex abuse should be aware of their legal rights. Reporting the abuse to law enforcement should always be the first step, but the criminal justice system is not the only way that victims and their families can find justice. In some cases, these families may have grounds for a lawsuit against the daycare.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of daycare sex abuse, you can learn more about your family’s legal options by speaking with an experienced daycare sexual abuse lawyer in a free consultation.