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Daycare worker arrested for sexual abuse

Victor, N.Y. -- The Ontario County Sheriff's Office has arrested a man in connection with two cases of sexual abuse at a daycare center in Victor.

According to the Ontario County District Attorney, 43-year-old Sean Smith was arrested and arraigned on Tuesday evening on charges of first degree sex abuse and sexual contact with an individual less than 11-years old.

Sheriff Phil Povero says there are two victims and deputies are speaking with parents of children at the daycare to see if there are more victims. 

According to the daycare center's owners, Smith has worked at Jack N Jill Daycare in Victor for six years and passed a background check prior to being hired.

The center had this statement: "The safety and well being of our children is our number one priority. Everything we do is based on that concept. This individual was cleared per New York State regulations. We are continuing to support law enforcement throughout their investigation and our heart goes out to the affected family." 

Mary Whittier, the executive director of the Bivona Child Advocacy Center in Rochester, says often times, background checks on daycare employees are not helpful. 

"It's tough," she said. "There are so many things you can try to do to as far as background checking people and going through certain records, but that's very limited. You can do everything in your power but majority of people who molest children have never been caught. So they wouldn't have a record of being a sex offender." 

Whittier says that sex abuse allegations at daycare centers are not uncommon and adds that despite popular belief, abuse case are prevelent in the suburbs. 

"People often think that child sex abuse only happens in portions of the community and they can't imagine it happening in a neighborhood or community like Victor and what I would say is that almost half of the children we evaluate every year come from the suburbs." 

13WHAM spoke to a relative of the victims. She believe the victims were targeted because they stayed at the center later in the day when most of the children had been picked up. Family members also fear that the abuse happened more than once. 

Sean Smith is being held in the Ontario County Jail on $50,000 cash bail.

Sheriff Povero will hold a press conference 10 a.m. on Thursday to release more details about this case. 

 
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