ELYRIA — Lorain County sheriff’s deputies are investigating whether Heather Koon, the child care worker accused of raping two young children at an Elyria day care center, may have molested other children there or at other centers where she has worked.
Chief Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh said Tuesday he couldn’t go into the details of the investigation but he said deputies have lined up other law enforcement agencies, including police departments in Amherst, Elyria, Kipton and Lorain, to assist if additional manpower becomes necessary.
“It is fully understood that given the circumstances of these allegations, many parents are concerned for their child’s well-being and anxious about their safety,” a news release issued Tuesday said.
Koon, 25, is being held at the Elyria City Jail in lieu of a $2 million bond. She was arrested Friday after deputies discovered images they contend show her molesting a 1-year-old child and a 2-year-old child.
The rapes are alleged to have taken place in March while Koon was working at ABC Kidz Child Care on Abbe Road in Elyria, but Koon has also reportedly worked at other day care centers in Elyria and was an employee at one in Amherst at the time of her arrest, according to a police report.
The mother of one of the victims has said that while Koon typically taught preschoolers, she sometimes worked alone on early morning weekend shifts at ABC Kidz, and that’s when she suspects the molestation occurred.
Carlos Johnson, a lawyer for ABC Kidz, has said that the day care is cooperating with the investigation and offering rape crisis counseling to parents.
Deputies launched their investigation into Koon after they found evidence on electronic devices seized from her home Sept. 26 while they were investigating her boyfriend, 34-year-old convicted sex offender James Osborne, according to the news release.
Cavanaugh said deputies received tips that Osborne was living with Koon at her Blaine Street home in Elyria and went to the residence to check it out. He was supposed to be living in Oberlin, according to the county’s sex offender database.
Elyria City Prosecutor Matt Mishak said during a hearing last week that when deputies and probation officers arrived they found a laptop computer next to Osborne, which he admitted using to play a game on Facebook. They also seized his iPhone, where they found a sexually explicit picture of a preteen girl.
“Osborne admitted to his probation officer that he had accessed the Internet and slept at Koon’s residence, not his registered address, several nights a week,” the release said.
Osborne was placed on five years of probation in 2011 after pleading guilty to child pornography charges that arose when a computer repair workers found inappropriate videos on a computer he had hired them to repair in 2007.
He now faces accusations he violated his probation as well as new criminal charges of tampering with records and failure to register a change of address.
Deputies have declined to discuss exactly what evidence they found on the computer and phone seized during Osborne’s arrest, but the mother of the 2-year-old victim has said she was shown a still image of her daughter’s face that she was told was taken from a video of Koon molesting her daughter.
Elyria City Prosecutor Scott Strait said during Koon’s bond hearing Monday that deputies have gathered “very strong evidence” against Koon, but has declined to elaborate further.
The release said parents concerned about their children should contact the Nord Center’s Children’s Advocacy Center, which specializes in helping sexually abused children, at (440) 204-4188.
Anyone with information about the case involving Koon or other potential victims should contact sheriff’s Sgt. Josh Croston at 440-329-3710.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.