ELYRIA — The former ABC Kidz Child Care worker accused of raping four of the children she was supposed to be caring for pleaded not guilty to a 32-count indictment that includes charges of rape, kidnapping and conspiracy.
Heather Koon, 25, appeared for her arraignment in Lorain County Common Pleas Court via a video uplink with the Lorain County Jail, a common practice for incarcerated inmates.
Also pleading not guilty from the jail was Koon’s fiance, registered sex offender James Osborne, who faces a 50-count indictment on charges including complicity to rape, complicity to kidnapping and conspiracy.
Prosecutors have said that Koon sexually assaulted 1- and 2-year-old victims at the Elyria day care center at the behest of the 34-year-old Osborne. She also allegedly recorded the rapes and prosecutors have said they have video evidence of all four victims being molested.
Lorain County sheriff’s deputies discovered the videos after seizing a laptop computer and an iPhone from Osborne when he was arrested at Koon’s Blaine Street home in Elyria on Sept. 26 while investigating whether he was living with Koon rather than at the Oberlin address he had registered with the county.
Koon was arrested Oct. 4 after the parents of the victims identified their children in still photos taken from the electronic devices.
Osborne’s attorney, Mike Duff, has said his client didn’t molest any children and was living where he was supposed to, although he sometimes spent the night with Koon. Duff also has acknowledged that Osborne had an explicit image of preteen girl on his phone, although he insisted the image was downloaded from the Internet.
Prosecutors contend that the images found on the seized phone and laptop were more than online child pornography.
The allegations against Koon also have led one parent to sue Koon and ABC Kidz. The lawsuit accused the day care of failing to protect the victim and asking the victim’s mother not to discuss the case in an effort to keep the scandal secret.
Deputies have said they are investigating whether there are additional victims at other day care centers where Koon has worked.