A 9-year-old boy and his parents are suing a Delaware daycare and a former employee for alleged sexual assault and battery.
The civil lawsuit filed Monday states in 2015 the child was sexually abused at least four times by Anthony Rodriguez at the Kidz Inc. II daycare in Bear.
The plaintiffs claim the sexual abuse caused the boy physical and emotional pain, fear, humiliation and depression.
Rodriguez already is serving a 12-year prison sentence after pleading guilty last year to sexual solicitation of a child and two counts of second degree sexual abuse of a child by a person in a position of trust.
Prior to his guilty plea, police reviewed video surveillance of Rodriguez in response to a complaint about the daycare worker. The video footage showed the defendant abused three children during daycare hours, that he touched and kissed the young children and requested one child to perform a sexual act upon him.
The complaint alleges the daycare hired Rodriguez in 2013, despite knowing he was fired from another daycare, Great New Beginnings, due to inappropriate physical interaction with a child.
The complaint also alleges that prior to the abuse, Kidz Inc was informed Rodriguez was inappropriately physically close to children. The lawsuit states the daycare did not adequately monitor video surveillance of Rodriguez, failed to implement appropriate written policies and procedures to protect children and failed to ensure employees were qualified and adequately trained.
The owner of Kidz Inc did not immediately respond to an interview request.
Linda Clark, the owner of Great New Beginnings, denies claims Rodriguez demonstrated inappropriate physical behavior at her daycare.
She said he was a high school intern when he worked for the daycare several years ago, and his time there was limited and completely supervised. Clark said for privacy reasons she cannot comment on the exact cause of his departure.
“Everyone in early education is considered a mandated reporter, everyone in early education (teachers and administrators) are obligated by law to report any situation, such as this involving a child, to [the Office of Childcare] licensing,” she said in a statement. “No such incident was reported, because no such incident happened at Great New Beginnings.”
The plaintiffs’ attorney, Raeann Warner of Jacobs & Crumplar, asks anyone with information about Rodriguez, his employment at any daycares, his termination from any daycares, and anyone else with information about the subject of this lawsuit to come forward.