At least two local media outlets are reporting that a Lake County daycare, Pat’s Kidz World Development Center, in Eustis, has been shut down by the Florida Department of Children and Families in connection with allegations of child sexual abuse.
According to the reporting, an employee of the daycare, Kenneth Hagins, has been accused of sexually abusing at least two children there. DCF officials say that they believe that the owner and operator of the daycare knew about these allegations, but did not report the accusations as required by law. As a result, DCF revoked the owner’s license to operate the daycare.
It appears that Kenneth Hagins has been busy enough to warrant closer supervision by the daycare owners. It has been reported that Mr. Hagins has also been accused of sexually abusing residents at his second job working at Sunrise Arc Group Home, also in Lake County.
Additionally, it appears that Mr. Hagins also works as a Youth Pastor at a Lake County church.
While it is important to remember that Mr. Hagins is presumed to be innocent of all of these charges, it seems unlikely that all of these victims, who reported the incidents separately, could be making this stuff up. Victims of child sexual abuse must show great courage in order to come forward.
In Florida, daycares, after-school programs, churches, and any other institutions that employ people to work with children need to perform thorough background checks of any adults that will be working with children. In addition, every adult who works with children needs to be very closely supervised, so that nothing untoward can happen. It will be interesting to see whether any of these child victims bring a claim for negligent supervision or for an inadequate background check. This would apply to the daycare, group home, and/or the church where Mr. Hagins was employed or volunteered.
If you have any questions about a Florida child sexual abuse case, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at 407-644-4444.