A 38-year-old man from Statesville has been accused of molesting children as young as 3 years old at the day care where he worked in the 1990s, police said Wednesday.
Joshua Maurice Young was held in Iredell County jail with bail set at $50,000 after being charged with 50 counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and 15 counts of first-degree sex offense with a child under 13.
Statesville Police say he turned himself in at police headquarters on Wednesday, a day after being charged.
The assaults are alleged to have happened at the Church of Today Day Care at 502 Brevard St., a few blocks from Statesville High School. The church no longer owns the property, and the red-brick building and adjacent day care facility have been owned by at least three different groups in the last 15 years, police said.
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Investigators aren’t sure when Young started working at the day care or why he stopped, but they believe he was a caregiver from 1993 to 1997.
Police said a girl came to them in 1999 and said Young had molested her at the day care between 1994 and 1995, when she was 3 years old. The alleged assaults happened in a part of the building away from the other children, police said.
The Statesville Police Department investigated then, according to Capt. David Onley, who oversees the criminal investigations division. Detectives took the case to the Iredell District Attorney’s Office, but no charges were filed, Onley said. It is unclear why no charges were filed, and the District Attorney’s Office could not be reached late Wednesday.
In June of this year, another alleged victim came forward, Onley said. This one said she was molested by Young at the day care between 1995 and 1997. The earliest incidents happened when she was 3, she said.
“We had a female tell us exactly the same story – same place, same details as (the first) one,” Onley said. “It gave validity to that (first) one. And then we had to go track down that first victim.”
Young is not listed in North Carolina’s Sex Offender registry. It’s unclear if the Church of Today or its day care ran a criminal background check on him. Criminal background checks for day care employees became mandatory in North Carolina in 1996, when Young was already working at the Statesville facility. A search of court records conducted by the Observer turned up only minor traffic offenses for Young.
Police said they also weren’t able to identify any major prior infractions for Young, who has previously lived on Simonton Road in Statesville and West Avenue in Troutman.
Onley said investigators have purposely held back some details of the alleged criminal acts, so they can corroborate the stories of anyone else who comes forward.
People connected to the Church of Today Day Care couldn’t be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Police encouraged other potential victims or people with information about Young to call Statesville detectives at 704-878-3515.