ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - In the wake of a criminal charge, state officials shut down a longtime daycare center Monday afternoon after the 59-year-old owner was arrested and accused of raping a child.
Parents and police were at the Peppermint Stick preschool Monday. Some of those parents scolded the media for reporting the man who operates the center, Dermot Newman, was arrested for sexually assaulting a 3 year old boy.
"He's a great person, a great teacher and he shouldn't be considered guilty in the news," said parent Christine Taglialegoni.
Newman and his wife have run the daycare for 33 years.
A spokesman for Children, Youth and Families says until the child rape charges, Newman passed a criminal background check.
Albuquerque Police say they charged him after a thorough investigation and a forensic interview with the little boy.
Late Monday afternoon, CYFD workers showed up, informing staffers and parents that the school was closing, at least for a while.
Parents told KRQE News 13 they hope the school will open again Wednesday, after the staff fixes some licensing issues.
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