Child care employee accused of sexually abusing kids; parents shocked

Dutch police sign
. (Photo: Wikipedia/Michiel1972)

A pedagogical assistant of childcare organization Patrou in De Bilt is suspected of sexually abusing two girls. The 27-year-old man from Utrecht is currently in custody, the Public Prosecutor confirmed on Wednesday. Parents are appalled. "We are very shocked", one father said to the Telegraaf. "You trust them with your children after all. In addition, I've never had a bad feeling at Patrou."

The victims, two girls from the same family, were made to do sexual acts with the employee in an incident that happened last week, according to the Prosecutor. What day last week the incident occurred was not revealed, so that the affected family can remain anonymous. This case came to light when the parents of the girls filed a report with the police. According to the Prosecutor, there is currently no indication that this happened more than once or with other kids. The police are investigating.

The suspect, who was dismissed with immediate effect, worked for Patrou for five years. He worked at the after school care, mostly with older kids, according to the Telegraaf. There are two Patrou locations in De Bilt. The suspect worked at the Weltevreden location, NU.nl reports. He will be arraigned on Friday.

On Wednesday evening Patrou, the Public Prosecutor and municipality arranged a meeting with over 200 parents to inform them about what happened. The meeting's atmosphere was tense, according to the Telegraaf. The parents had many questions, mostly surrounding whether their own children could also have fallen victim. "Is that being investigated?" one father wanted to know.

"The atmosphere was emotional. People got a massive fright", De Bilt mayor Sjoerd Potters said to the Telegraaf after the meeting. "This is really the last thing you want to hear when you bring your children to after-school care. Also many questions and a lot of disbelief. This person was loved and worked there for a long time. Yes, how are you going to explain to your children how this happened?"

Patrou is deploying pedagogical coaches to help kids and parents process the news, Katinka Reuling, chairman of the organization's board of directors, said to the newspaper. "We will take a good look at whether we can take additional measures. The suspect had good contacts with both parents and children. He was very popular."

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