The longtime owner of a day care center in the Bella Vista section of Philadelphia has been charged with allegedly sexually assaulting two children on multiple occasions.
Duncan Round, 53, of Medford Lakes, New Jersey, was arrested Wednesday and arraigned in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas early Thursday morning. He was released after paying 10 percent of the $200,000 bail.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 15.
Round is charged with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of a minor and indecent exposure.
Police say the investigation began on July 25 when the Department of Human Services responded to a report of sexual abuse at the Sprouts Childrens Center, located inside the Philly Kids Gym on 604 South 9th Street. After conducting several interviews, investigators determined Round, the owner of Sprouts, sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy multiple times inside the day care.
Round, who police say has owned the day care for approximately ten years, surrendered to police Wednesday.
Parents went to Sprouts Wednesday evening after learning about the allegations against Round.
"This is beyond repair," said George Tadross, a parent of a child who attended the day care. "I don't care what they do. I will never send my kids there."
A former employee at Sprouts told NBC10 she quit working at the day care after feeling uncomfortable. Another woman said she was disturbed by Round's behavior during a tour of the day care center.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
Some parents defended Round however and suggested that the allegations against him are not true.
"Duncan is a great guy," said Steven O'Toole. "He loves kids. This is a great place. You feel like family here and it's all just a shame."
A DHS spokesperson told NBC10 the department began the process of an emergency removal order as soon as they learned of Round's arrest. DHS staff were at the day care Thursday and informed parents of the order before closing the facility. They are currently working with parents to help them find different childcare options.
Police are investigating whether Round sexually assaulted other children at the day care. If you believe your child was a victim, call Philadelphia Police.