Man charged in sex abuse of 3 girls at daycare in Whitehall

 

Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin announced charges Wednesday against a Whitehall Township man for alleged sexual assault at A Lot Like Home Daycare.

Zachary Zimmerman, 22, is facing three counts of indecent assault and one count of aggravated indecent sexual assault, both felonies of the second degree. He is also facing one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, and one count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, which are felonies of the first degree.

According to the news release from the DA's office, detectives with the Whitehall Township Police Department launched an investigation and interviewed three victims who attended the daycare at 2307 North First Avenue between 2011 and 2017.

Officials determined the three victims were children at the daycare when Zimmerman allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with them.

At the time, Zimmerman lived at the location of the daycare, according to the news release.

"Crimes of this nature are repugnant, especially when committed against children," Martin said. "I commend Det. Bruchak for his work on this investigation which has led to the arrest of the defendant Mr. Zimmerman."

Zimmerman was arraigned late Wednesday morning. His bail was set at $75,000.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services said the daycare is still allowed to operate while it completes the investigation.

The department told the facility operator that Zimmerman is not permitted on the premises, and DHS staff will be enforcing the requirement through unannounced visits.

DHS is in the process of contacting parents or guardians of children who attended the daycare to notify them of the allegations and arrest.

DHS commented on the case:

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to protecting the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, especially when facilities we license are entrusted with the care of children.

The department was notified earlier this year of an investigation by law enforcement into allegations of sexual assault allegedly committed against children at a Lehigh County group child care home. DHS cooperated with law enforcement on their investigation and is conducting its own internal review. Until the investigation is complete, the department cannot make further comments.