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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Police say victim, 6, was attacked at Milford day care center

Police say victim, 6, was attacked at Milford day care center
By James Tinley, Register Staff
MILFORD — Police arrested a 14-year-old boy Friday in the alleged sexual assault of a 6-year-old while the child was at a day care center run out of a Milford home.

The teen was charged with first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor and appeared in a New Haven Juvenile Court Friday, police said.

The teen’s name was not released because of his age, and files in the case were sealed.

Police began investigating the day care center in August after the parents of the 6-year-old said they believed their child was sexually assaulted there. Police did not disclose the gender of the child.

Police did not release the name and the address of the day care center where the attack is believed to have occurred, but it is a state-licensed and privately run center.

Police spokesman Officer Vaughan Dumas would not say why the suspect was at the day care center, but said he was not an employee.

“All the parents of any children that attended the day care center were notified, and the children were interviewed to see if there were any more victims,” Dumas said. So far, it appears to be an isolated incident, Dumas said.

The day care center’s license is under review by the state Department of Public Health, police said. There are 22 licensed day care centers in Milford that can accommodate a total of 1,425 children, according to state records.

Yale-New Haven Child Sexual Abuse Clinic assisted investigators, which led to the warrant application being completed, Dumas said.

The state departments of Children and Families and Public Health also assisted in the investigation.

Gary Kleeblatt, a DCF spokesman, said the information his department compiled will be used during the license review.

“The fact that two children were involved raises important issues,” Kleeblatt said. “We would want to also interview the 14-year-old to see what might have happened to him to lead him to do something so terrible.”

Boys & Girls Village Inc. CEO Kenneth Fellenbaum, whose agency deals with physically and emotionally abused youths, said there are always “lasting effects” when a child is assaulted.

Intense therapy is the only solution and it will likely have to last for a long time, he said.

“That’s the tragedy when someone violates a child like that and robs them of their innocence,” Fellenbaum said. Boys & Girls Village has counselors and therapists available to help youths who have been sexually assaulted. The agency treats 450 children daily, offering 13 programs at three different sites.

James Tinley can be reached at or 876-3030. Milford Bureau Chief Brian McCready contributed to this story.