CBS 58 Investigates: Daycare driver had prior offense against a child

CBS 58 Investigates: Daycare driver had prior offense against a child

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A 3-year-old girl says she was sexually assaulted on her way to daycare by the van driver. CBS 58 Investigates looked into the allegation and found that driver has a criminal record.

According to court records, in June the little girl told her mother, the man who drives her daycare van, “touched her ‘pee pee’ then put her hands down her pants and rubbed her vaginal area.”

It turns out, that 52-year-old driver has a prior conviction involving a child. In 2005 a 15-year-old girl told police the suspect raped her. The suspect denied it and ultimately reached a deal and pleaded guilty to exposing genitals to a child, a misdemeanor

Before anyone can drive for a daycare there are requirements they must meet. They have to be 18, have at least a year as a licensed driver, pass a driving record check and a background check.

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families says it’s up to the licensed daycare owner to make sure those requirements are met.

CBS 58 Investigates went to the daycare, “U Care, I Care” and asked the owner, Trina Horton, how this man was hired in the first place.

At first, Horton, who spoke to us from inside her home, denied even knowing the driver,  but then admitted he used to work for her.

When asked if she made sure the man passed a background check, she said, “I went through the transportation company.”

She says that company, JD Davis Transportation, told her the man passed a background check, but she didn’t have any documentation.

CBS 58 Investigates stopped by JD Davis Transportation and left multiple messages for the owner. One of Davis’ employees told us his lawyer handles media, but he didn’t have a name for that lawyer.

CBS 58 Investigates spoke to one child transportation company, Go Kid Go, which is not involved with this case about how it makes sure kids are safe.

“I started this company back in 2001 because I had two children of the age that needed transportation and we weren’t finding anybody we felt comfortable with,” said John Granzow, the owner of Go Kid Go.

Granzow says his drivers undergo an extensive interview and screen process, which includes a check of the person’s driving record, background check, a look at their caregiver record if they’ve ever had any kind of license or certification to work with an at-risk population. They also look at the state and national sex offender registry. Then drivers have to pass a drug test and physical.

“We wanted to demonstrate a trustworthiness,” Granzow said.

There are changes coming when it comes to daycare background checks.  Right now, the state performs annual background checks on the daycare licensee, and that licensee is responsible for performing the checks on their employees.

However, starting October 1 the state will administer background checks for new applicants, licensees, and their employers along with “any household member of the age of 10 who live in a family care center.” But driver background checks will still be the responsibility of the daycare providers.

Granzow says parents should do their research and ask the daycare or transportation company how they vet their drivers.

“If they can’t readily tell you what they do to screen their drivers, I’d high tail it out of there,” Granzow said.

Trina Horton says the suspect is no longer driving for her.

As for charges against the driver, Kent Lover, the deputy district attorney for Milwaukee County, tells CBS 58 Investigates, “We reviewed this matter extensively. The 3-year-old child’s statement contains very little detail about the allegation itself. There is also no additional or independent evidence to corroborate the allegation made by the child. Under these circumstances, and considering her very young age, there is not enough evidence to move forward with any charges at this point.”

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