Police: Day Care Center Owner Sexually Assaults Two 5-Year-Old Children

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The owner of a day care center in Philadelphia has been arrested and charged with raping at least two children left in his care.

Police say 53-year-old Duncan Round of Medford Lakes, New Jersey, the owner and operator of Sprouts Preschool in South Philadelphia, molested a boy and girl, both 5, who were left under his provision on multiple occasions.

Sprouts day care

Sprouts day care center in South Philadelphia. (credit: CBS3)

“We conducted immediate forensic interviews at Philadelphia children’s alliance,” said Philadelphia Police Capt. Mark Burgmann. “At that time, both children disclosed that they were indeed sexually assaulted by the offender.”

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The Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit say the assaults happened on multiple occasions at the preschool. They say the Department of Human Services got involved and began an investigation on July 25 when the children began acting differently. Investigators also say physical evidence was found at the scene.

Burgmann says police arrested Round Wednesday. He’s been charged with seven felonies, including rape and unlawful contact with a minor.

duncan round mug shot Police: Day Care Center Owner Sexually Assaults Two 5 Year Old Children

“We went out to the location, the day care, executed a search warrant, and processed the scene with the crime scene unit,” Burgmann said, “and we did recover some evidence on location there.”

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Round has owned the day care center for nearly 10 years.

Parent Long Lam said he didn’t know how serious the allegations were.

“We got an email one or two weeks ago, saying there was an investigation,” said Lam. “I didn’t know it was this serious.”

The allegations incited harsh reaction from some as other parents remain in disbelief and continue to support the day care center owner.

“Duncan is a good guy. He loves children. This is just a shame,” said parent Stephen O’Toole.

Burgmann says they believe there could be other victims. Police are asking anyone with more information to contact them.

Round was arraigned early Thursday morning on 16 charges, 12 of them felonies. The judge set his bail at $200,000. He remains behind bars.

KYW Newsradio’s Justin Udo and CBS3’s Natasha Brown contributed to this report.

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