Information Regarding Active Lake County Child Care Licensing/Sexual Abuse Investigations

For Immediate Release
July 19, 2012

Lake Co. - The Florida Department of Children and Families is actively investigating allegations of sexual abuse pertaining to a former employee of a licensed child care provider located in Lake County, Florida. On July 11, 2012, the Department of Children and Families conducted a joint response to the facility with the Lake County Sheriff's Office after allegations surfaced that a male employee, (K.H,) had sexually abused a child who was under his care. At this time, the Department as well as the Lake County Sheriff's Office are working jointly to contact the parents of those children with whom the former employee had access.

The allegation prompted a child protective investigation as well as child care licensing investigation. In addition, child protective personnel are working directly with adult protective investigators internally regarding similar allegations of sexual abuse pertaining to two vulnerable adults residing in group care.

At this time, the alleged perpetrator's access to the victims in this case has been removed.

The Department of Children and Families takes such allegations regarding children and vulnerable adults most seriously. The current licensing status of Pat's Kidz World Development Center is under review. The criminal allegations of sexual abuse are being investigating by law enforcement.

The child care provider has been in operation since 2003 with the capacity to serve 90 children. The last inspection report noted 24 children were enrolled at the facility.

This is the early stage of this investigation. Child and adult protective investigations remain confidential, no further information can be released unless otherwise made public through law enforcement.

###