Posted: Jul 24, 2012 8:47 PM by Keli Moore
Updated: Jul 25, 2012 8:02 AM
A former Santa Maria day care center employee is under investigation by the Santa Maria Police Department because of suspected abuse.
According to a representative of Dignity Health, which operates Marian Children's Center, the male employee was placed on administrative leave and is now no longer with the organization.
The State said Social Services recently finished a 4-month long investigation into the allegations of misconduct.
Some parents are concerned, but are not quick to judge until they meet with the Director of the day care center who is currently meeting with parents to discuss their concerns.
Parents said they were made aware of the situation because the report is posted at the front desk on the center, and by law it must be there for 30 days.
In March an administrator of Marian Children's Center contacted the California Department of Social Services to complain that a male employee was acting inappropriately with children and fellow-employees.
A statement given to KSBY from the Marian Children's Center said it immediately reported the allegations to the Community Care Licensing and the Santa Maria Police Department.
According to the statement, the employee involved in the alleged behavior was immediatly placed on administrative leave, pending the completion of the investigation and is no longer with the day care center.
According the State of California report, the investigation found; that the male employee put an ointment on the infant's privates without wearing gloves; that he changed an infant's diaper without gloves to remove sand from the baby's private area, but the child did not have sand playtime on that particular day. The report also said staff observed the man with an erection after bouncing an infant on his lap.
These are just some of the allegations in the report.
At this time no criminal charges have been filed against the former employee.
A statement released by Spokeswoman Megan Maloney said, "Marian Children's Center officials are taking this issue very seriously,the health and safety of the children at the center is our first and highest priority." It also said that "it is important that our community understands this alleged incident does not involve sexual abuse."
According to Spokeswoman Maloney, the Marian Children's Center is appealing all of the allegations in the report.
A representative from Social Services said, the agency is re-reviewing the report and is not sure how long this will take.
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