April 18, 2014

Elyria
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Charges filed against boyfriend of former day care worker

James Osborne

James Osborne

ELYRIA — James Osborne, the registered sex offender boyfriend of jailed day care worker Heather Koon, has been charged with two counts of complicity to rape.

Koon, 25, is accused of raping a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old while she was working at ABC Kidz Child Care in March. Lorain County sheriff’s deputies found images on electronic devices seized from the 34-year-old Osborne on Sept. 26 that they contend show Koon molesting the children.

Chief Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh said Wednesday that the ongoing investigation has uncovered enough evidence to warrant the additional charges against Osborne, who is already jailed on charges of tampering with records and failure to register a change of address.

“From the evidence we’re been researching and obtained, we found probable cause to charge him with complicity to rape,” Cavanaugh said.

Osborne was arrested Sept. 26 when deputies and probation officers went to Koon’s Blaine Street home in Elyria after receiving information that he was living there rather than at the Oberlin address he was registered at, deputies have said.

Osborne had a laptop next to him that he admitted using to play a Facebook game and investigators found a sexually explicit photo of a preteen girl on his iPhone, which was also seized, according to prosecutors.

Mike Duff, Osborne’s attorney, has said that his client downloaded the picture off the Internet and wasn’t involved in the rapes Koon is accused of committing. Duff didn’t return a call seeking comment Wednesday evening.

Deputies have said Osborne admitted to using the Internet, a possible violation of his probation, and to sleeping at Koon’s house several nights a week.

Osborne pleaded guilty in 2010 to child pornography charges and was sentenced to five years of probation by county Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi, who warned him that a violation would mean eight years in prison. In that case Osborne was accused of possessing around 50 images of sexual pornography.

Deputies have declined to discuss the evidence they’ve gathered against Koon, although Elyria city Prosecutor Scott Strait has called it “very strong.” Koon is being held in lieu of a $2 million bond on two counts of rape.

The mother of the 2-year-old alleged victim has said she identified her daughter’s face in an image that deputies showed her. She has said she was told the image came from a video found by investigators.

The mother also has said she suspects the alleged sexual abuse may have taken place while Koon was working alone on early morning weekend shifts.

Koon left ABC Kidz in March, according to Carlos Johnson, a lawyer for the day care center, and police records indicate that she was an employee at a day care in Amherst at the time she was arrested. She also has reportedly previously worked at other day care centers.

Cavanaugh has said investigators are looking into whether she may have sexually abused other children at ABC Kidz or other the other day care providers where she worked. He declined to comment Wednesday on whether any other allegations have been leveled against Koon.

Johnson has said ABC Kidz is cooperating with the investigation.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.

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