ORLANDO, Fla. - A former Baldwin Park VPK teacher is accused of touching 3-and 4-year-olds' genitals during nap time, according to new details released in an arrest warrant for 25-year-old Jayrico Hamilton.
The former teacher at Bright Horizons Child Care and Learning Center was arrested Tuesday by Orlando police after multiple parents said their children were sexually abused by Hamilton in May of last year.
Hamilton is charged with sexual battery on a victim under 12, lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious conduct and child abuse, officials with the Orlando Police Department said.
An arrest affidavit released Wednesday details the almost yearlong investigation leading to Hamilton's arrest.
The first incident came to light on May 15, when a 4-year-old boy told his parents, "Mr. Jay puts my penis in his mouth at nap time," according to the arrest affidavit.
Hamilton denied the abuse when he was interviewed by Orlando police detectives on May 17. A child protective investigator, or CPI, with the Department of Children and Families also began investigating the allegations.
On May 22, records showed, the CPI informed Orlando police of another possible victim -- a 3-year-old girl.
Investigators interviewed the young victims and we unable to get consistent statements about possible abuse, according to the report.
Then, in January, another child's parents came forward, and said their son disclosed in therapy that he was abused during nap time "kind of every day," according to police. Investigators said the now 5 year-old victim was able to give an account to detectives, detailing what happened when Hamilton would allegedly abuse him while the other children were sleeping.
Another teacher at Bright Horizons told investigators she observed "unusual patterns of possessive behavior by 'Mr. Jay'" of one particular VPK student, including bringing in new toys for the possible victim and ignoring the other children, the report showed.
The teacher also told detectives Hamilton would lay next to the boy on his cot during nap time.
Another preschool employee told detectives that she overheard Hamilton tell the child, "Don't forget about our secret."
In June, the parents of a 4-year-old boy filed a civil lawsuit against Bright Horizons, alleging that Hamilton sexually abused the boy at the VPK school. Another family later joined the lawsuit.
Attorney Jeff Herman, the lawyer representing two of the alleged victims' families, told News 6 in June that the suspected former employee follows at least 100 toddler-aged Instagram models and his account is public. If Bright Horizons had conducted a background check and searched his social media accounts, this would have been apparent to them, according to the lawsuit.
One day after Hamilton's arrest, Herman and one of the victim's parents held an emotional news conference about the allegations.
"Our son was healthy and happy before coming here, and now he is a diminished child," John Doe No. 2's father said. "We want to help him, but we need other parents to prevent them from happening to their children."
The victim's father said he believes Bright Horizons, which is a publicly traded company, was putting its "bottom line" before the children they should have been serving.
Bright Horizons continued employing Hamilton despite the fact his co-teacher complained about "red flags" to the preschool director, Herman said. After the employee complained in March, April and May of last year Bright Horizons responded by moving her to another class.
The lawsuit alleges that the preschool hired Hamilton without a background check.
"Had they checked Virginia's Abuse Registry, they would have learned he was not eligible to work with children," Herman said about a previous complaint made in Virginia.
Under Florida law, preschools are required to do check abuse registries for every state a teacher has worked in the last five years. Bright Horizons knew he worked in Virginia, but didn’t seek that information, Herman said.
Herman, who has worked more than 1,000 similar abuse cases, said because of the young age of the victims in cases like these are often hard to prosecute criminally, but that "kids don't make this stuff up."
"I will put the word of a child up against Jayrico Hamilton any day of the week, and I look forward to that day in court," Herman said.
John Doe No. 2's father said Herman has been like a "rock" for the victim's families.
I can’t believe there are attorneys that have to specialize in this, he’s a strong man," the father said.
Hamilton was booked into the Orange County Corrections Facility Tuesday afternoon. During his first appearance in front of an Orange County judge Wednesday, he was denied bail for two charges and ordered to not have contact with the victim, their families or anyone under 18 years old.
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