News / Halifax

Worker at Halifax daycare charged with sexual assault against child

Police have identified the accused and the person has been released on conditions.

The sign in front of Kids & Company daycare at 3260 Barrington St. in Halifax.

Zane Woodford / Metro Order this photo

The sign in front of Kids & Company daycare at 3260 Barrington St. in Halifax.

Police have charged a 20-year-old man with sexual assault of a child relating to an alleged incident at a local daycare.

In a media release on Monday, Halifax Regional Police say on Aug. 22, police received a report of a worker at the Kids & Company daycare at 3260 Barrington Street who allegedly “touched one of the children in a sexual manner while that child was in his care.”

“We are not disclosing the age or sex of the victim in order to protect the child’s identity,” continued a media statement from Halifax Regional Police. “Police were advised that the man was suspended the same day that the incident was reported.”

Twenty-year-old Mitchell Casavcheia of Cole Harbour turned himself in to police last Thursday and has been charged with sexual assault and sexual interference.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 26.

Halifax police say the accused has been released on numerous conditions including not going to any daycare, playground or school, and to not be around any youth under the age of 16-years-old without their being a guardian or parent on hand.

Dorothy Morphy, area director for the Kids and Company chain, said Casavechia had been working with Kids and Company for less than four months, and they had done all the mandated checks.

“Everything that we're supposed to do - reference checks, child abuse registry, everything - was done,” she said.

Morphy said Casavechia is "no longer employed at all."

When asked what she'd say to parents who are concerned about sending their children to Kids and Company, Morphy wouldn't get into specifics.

“I’m doing my very best to reassure them as best I can, but I can’t go into detail about what I’m sharing with them because it’s a confidential matter, but we are doing our best and meeting with all parents who want to chat with us further," she said.

Cindy Bayers, a spokesperson with Halifax Regional Police, says its sexual assault investigators worked closely with the child’s family and launched its investigation once the alleged incident was reported.

She also said any parent who feels something inappropriate happened to their child at a daycare centre should immediately call police. - with files from The Canadian Press and Zane Woodford

Letter sent to parents

Metro Halifax has obtained an email sent to parents of children at the location by Kids and Company on Sept. 8.

Here is some of what was written about the alleged incident:

• “Please be assured that immediately following this incident being reported to the Centre Director, our child abuse protocol was engaged. The staff member in question was immediately removed from the workplace and has not returned to the Centre.”

• “When we interview and hire potential teachers, we follow a very thorough screening process that involves receiving a Criminal Record Check with Vulnerable Sector screening and a Child Abuse Registry screening. We also complete reference checks on all employees and no one is hired unless all clearances come back clear. As you know, our centres have web cameras and staff are monitored closely throughout the day.”

• “We have no information or indication that this situation has extended beyond this one incident.”

More on Metronews.ca