RICHLAND -- A former worker at a Richland day care center is accused of sexually assaulting a toddler there earlier this year.
Richland police met parents at Kids World Daycare on Friday, and have a dedicated phone line to take calls from concerned parents or anyone with tips about the case.
Lucas Anthony Miller, 21, of Kennewick, is being held without bail in the Benton County jail on suspicion of first-degree rape of a child.
Miller worked at Kids World, 814 Comstock St., from April to August, police said. The alleged sexual assault was reported to Kids World by the boy's parents Aug. 31 and Miller was fired Sept. 1.
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Kids World staff called Child Protective Services, who then reported it to Richland police.
According to court documents, a boy told his parents that his day care teacher pinched his nipple and twisted it. It caused a bruise that stayed for about two weeks.
Later, the boy also disclosed other inappropriate touching by Miller, documents said.
Miller was interviewed by detectives Wednesday and allegedly said that the contact occurred while he was changing the boy's diaper, documents said.
A letter from Richland police Detective Damon Jansen was sent Thursday to parents who might have had children in Miller's class. They were told Miller may have been involved in multiple incidents of child abuse, but that he is in custody and "is not a further threat to your child."
Detectives set up the Friday morning meeting at the day care center to answer any parents questions. Representatives from the Sexual Assault Response Center and a child forensic interviewer from Kids Haven also were there.
The state Department of Social and Health Services' Division of Licensing Resources is also helping with the investigation, police said.
Parents were asked to complete a survey to help investigators determine what child or parent may have more information about the case.
In the letter, Jansen also asked parents not to discuss the incident with their children, because of potential risks caused by direct questioning of children who have not previously reported sexual abuse or inappropriate touching.
The risks include jeopardizing the investigation of legitimate claims and could lead to claims of abuse when no abuse happened, he wrote.
Miller has had three other jobs that involved being around children, but investigators said there is no information to suggest crimes were committed at his previously places of employment. They are, however, still investigating.
Miller previously worked at Children's Garden Montessori Preschool in Richland from November 2008 to August 2009 and as a lifeguard at the Tri-City Court Club in Kennewick from May 2009 to March 2011.
He also was a summer counselor for Campfire USA from 2007-09, police said.
Concerned parents or anyone with information about Miller can call Richland police at 942-7371.
Detectives will respond to messages within two working days.