Preschool teacher arrested for allegedly molesting toddler


A teacher at a local daycare has been arrested after deputies say he molested a 3-year-old girl while on the job, and it was a lie detector test that did him in.

Investigators believe he preyed upon the girl during nap time. He denied it at first, but his story changed after he took that polygraph test.

The investigation began on Dec. 4 at the Western Heights Learning Center off of Coors and Sage Road.

The report states the 3-year-old girl told her siblings that her teacher, Lyric “Taylor” Padilla, put his hands inside of her underwear.

Padilla was the assistant teacher of the preschool class. 

When police interviewed him about the incident he first denied the allegations, but after a failed lie detector test he admitted to touching the child inappropriately, saying it happened while she was taking a nap.

A spokesperson with the Children Youth and Families Department says Padilla did pass a background check, as is required for all daycare and preschool workers.

“We do have a background check they need that basically looks into criminal background, if there’s any protective service history with an individual, or if there’s any history on the sex offender registry,” said CYFD spokesman Henry Varela.

Tuesday, Padilla appeared in court to face criminal sexual contact charges. After his arrest, he wrote an apology letter stating he has a pornography addiction and was sorry. Since his arrest, CYFD has taken action.

“We did suspend of this individual’s background check and what that means is that this individual at this time will not be able to work in the childcare center,” Varela added.

Parents who KRQE News 13 spoke to whose children attend the daycare say they are shocked by the news, and some of them said the day care had not informed them of them of the arrest.

Padilla was released from jail Tuesday. 

The day care said it’s taking action to ensure the safety of the children, but would not elaborate on what that means.

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