INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indianapolis couple believes their 3-year-old daughter would not have been a victim if they had known that the man who was caring for her was under investigation for sexually abusing another child.
The child’s father, who does not want to share his identity, said he had no idea that Andrew Seal had been sexually abusing his daughter at the Day Star Child Care Center in Indianapolis until September 25, when she blurted it out to his wife at the grocery store.
“[My wife] was told [by my daughter] at the grocery store – they were pushing the cart – ‘Mister Andy has been touching me at school,'” the father said.
The abuse started in August of 2016, according to court documents.
Unknown to the parents - Seal, 41, was already the focus of a state investigation after a 5-year-old girl claimed he had touched her inappropriately earlier that year. The child care center had not removed him from interacting with kids or even notified the other parents about that incident.
"It was a huge cover-up. I could have chosen to remove my daughter if I knew what I knew,” said the girl's father. “Instead they made the choice for me. It could have been avoided.”
The Marion County Prosecutor's office has filed charges against Seal for molesting three children, two of them at the child care center. The third incident was at a private residence.
According to court documents, Seal allegedly molested the girls during nap time when the other teacher was on her lunch break. He also admitted to police that he became “turned on” around young kids.
The victim's attorney, Jason Reese, said his clients hope their story will put pressure on child care centers to be more open and parents to be more aware of who their child is around when they aren't there.
"They took a predator from the 5-year-old to the 3-year-old. [The children] didn't have a chance to verbalize. They couldn't say what happened until mom and dad found out," said Reese. "I'm very proud of my clients who really help other kids stay safe, so it doesn't happen to another child."
Call 6 Investigates reached out to Day Star Child Care Center.
Their attorney, Emily Smith, released the following statement:
“Because Daystar cares deeply about each child in our care, we endeavor to be diligent in protecting our children. Daystar is taking this matter very seriously and is, therefore, cooperating with authorities. Because the investigation is ongoing, it would not be appropriate to comment or give an interview at this time.”
Their statement did not address why the first incident was never disclosed to parents or why Seal was not removed from working around children.
Seal’s next court date is March 27 in Marion County.
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