Sex assault alleged at Cdale day care
An owner of Little Angels Daycare in Carbondale has been arrested on a charge of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.
Investigators began looking into 74-year-old Walter Daugherty after a 4-year-old girl who stayed at the day care told her parents that “Walter” had her touch his penis.
Investigators believe this happened sometime between June and December 2015 when the preschool-age girl says Daugherty asked her to touch his penis in the day care’s bathroom while he watched cars out the window, according to a sheriff’s report.
In one recorded interview, the 4-year-old said it had happened three times, then said it had happened five times, according to an affidavit.
On July 26, Garfield County investigators went to the day care to interview Daugherty and his wife.
“Walter then admitted to me that one time, last year, he and (the girl) were in the bathroom. He said it was when (she) was potty training,” an investigator wrote in a report.
His wife later said they sometimes helped the children in the bathroom if they were potty training.
“(Daugherty) said that (the 4-year-old) was on the toilet and he was in there with her. He said that he doesn’t know why, but he had his penis out of his pants.”
Daugherty said the toddler touched his penis, and he then put it back in his pants, according to the report.
“He said that he felt terrible, that this scared him, and that he had never told anyone. He said that this had only happened once and never happened with any of the other children.” Daugherty told investigators that he thought he should get probation and counseling, according to an affidavit.
The mother of the little girl told investigators that at first she thought there must have been some misunderstanding, that she “trusted these people so much.”
Some parents of children who go to the day care expressed disbelief to investigators that Daugherty would sexually assault a child. One woman said she would “go to bat” for Daugherty and his wife.
“She said that from what she knew they were good people and she felt totally safe with leaving (her child) there,” according to a sheriff’s report.
On July 5, Daugherty was asked not to return to the day care until the investigation had concluded, according to an affidavit.
Whether Little Angels is still operational was not immediately clear. Little Angel Daycare did not return the Post Independent’s calls Friday.
The day care’s license with the Colorado Office of Early Childhood does not show any disciplinary action or revocation. The early childhood office was not immediately available to determine if any action has been taken against Little Angels.
The day care is licensed to care for up to nine children.
It’s only listed complaint came in 2011 concerning the safety and condition of the facility, a complaint the state department ruled as unfounded.
District Attorney Sherry Caloia said investigators do not know of any other victims.
Daugherty bonded out of jail July 28 on a $15,000 bond.
He is under a mandatory protection order, which bars contact with the victim and any children younger than 12 years old, unless supervised by a parent or an appropriate adult. He’s also to have no contact with Little Angels Daycare or the children it cares for.
Ryan Summerlin can be reached at 970-384-9131.
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