Sex offender worked at Raleigh daycare

James Freeman

August 10, 2010 4:07:11 PM PDT
Quality Education Institute in Raleigh is like many daycares, a place dozens of parents depend on as a safe haven for their children while they're at work.

But the ABC11 I-Team confirmed that James Freeman a registered sex offender, was a maintenance contractor at QEI.

North Carolina's sex offender registry shows Freeman did more than two years behind bars on two different convictions for taking indecent liberties with minors.

Parents who use the daycare told ABC11 they had no idea.

"I am more than stunned. I do not want my kids around any sex offender," said Erica Duggins.

Freeman's an unlicensed plumber with a long criminal record and a wife who also worked at QEI.

When we asked the daycare director about Freeman, she told us she'd just found out about his past and that he was just a contractor who only worked weekends - never around the children.

Two former workers, who did not want to be identified, told a different story.

"I've seen him, Mr. Freeman, in the classrooms or in the cafeteria," said one.

"Like if the kids were being bad he'd say 'You're not supposed to be doing that, your teachers, you're supposed to listen to them.' Stuff like that," said the second.

We took those allegations back to the director who denied them.

"There was no intermingling with the children," said Ashanti Gibbs. "When he had to do work for us, the work that he had to do, he may have come and seen what supplies were needed, what he was going to be doing, but that stuff did occur, after hours, on the weekends."

Gibbs' boss - the center's manager - said as soon he found out, he fired Freeman.

"I just told him you know I don't know your situation, I don't know your restrictions, because I'm not a legal person, but I do know that this offense says to me that you can't come into my center anymore to do any kind of work," said Daycare Manager Otis Gambrell.

And both managers admit they didn't check Freeman's background - but say they're not required, by state law, to check contract workers.

"I don't regret doing something that I had no requirement to do in the beginning," said Gambrell.

The NC Department of Health and Human Services is investigating who knew what and when at the daycare facility.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office is too. It is responsible for making sure registered sex offenders in Wake County follow the law.

"He's registered with us and when he went into a childcare facility he was violating law, which we didn't know," said Sheriff Donnie Harrison.

We tried to talk to James Freeman and his wife for this story. No one answered their door. The day we interviewed the two managers and parents was Freeman's wife's last day on the job.

Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | Most Popular
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook


Load Comments