Woman says she was assaulted in the '80s at same Wendell daycare now at center of sex crimes probe

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Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Woman says she was abused years ago at Wendell daycare now under probe
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Current parents and former pupils connected to a daycare in Wendell are speaking up and taking action in light of sexual assault allegations and a mysterious fire.

WENDELL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Current parents and former pupils connected to a daycare in Wendell are speaking up and taking action in light of sexual assault allegations and a mysterious fire.

ABC Land Daycare on Raymond Drive in Wendell has had a tumultuous start to 2023. Last week, multiple sexual assault allegations surfaced against a worker at the daycare. Three separate complaints have been filed against the employee this year. The State Bureau of Investigation is in charge of the case.

Then Tuesday night someone threw a molotov cocktail at the building. It did not cause significant damage to the building, and it remains unclear if it is connected to the sex crime allegations.

A letter sent from ABC Land to parents emphasized that the business itself is "not under investigation."

Lorraine Dixon of ABC Land said, "we are dealing with serious allegations against one of our employees." She added that DHHS Abuse & Neglect is also investigating.

She said the abuse and neglect team made an unannounced visit to her business on Jan. 9 to initiate the investigation.

The employee in question is on a leave of absence until the investigation is complete.

But Stephanie Williams said ABC Land Daycare is where she was assaulted back in the 1980s. ABC Land was established in 1979, according to its website.

"Oh my gosh, I hope all of this hadn't been going on the whole time and I didn't say anything," Williams said.

Williams remembers the daycare being owned by the same family that's in charge right now.

"It's very concerning," Williams said.

Although the person Williams claims touched her is different from the employee that's accused of the current sexual assault crimes, it's a concern nonetheless from both Williams and parents who pulled their children out of the daycare after finding out.

"It's shocking to the fact that you take your kids to a place, and you think that they'd be taken care of and then things like this happen," one parent said. "They sent a letter, so when we heard the news story, immediately we went and picked up our 4-year-old that was there, as well as the 7-month-old, and it was just, that was it. To find out in that matter is just really ridiculous."

ABC11 reached out to the daycare, which referred all matters to the owner's attorney.