PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. - An 18-year-old employee at a Prescott Valley child care facility has been arrested on suspicion of abusing a 3-year-old girl in his care.
Charles Blankenship was arrested after the toddler's mother posted photos on Facebook of what appear to be severe bruises covering her daughter's face. She said the girl was abused at the Gummy Bear Early Learning Center near Manley Drive and Robert Road.
Police are now investigating four more reports of potential abuse at the day care after more parents came forward in response to the post. Officers also served a search warrant at a nearby branch of the Gummy Bear Early Learning Center.
Police said the facility is cooperating with the investigation, and the appropriate licensing agency has been notified.
"We are so horribly sorry for what happened, and we wish there was something that we could've done. Please forgive us, " said Rebecca, the director of the facility. She asked that only her first name be used.
Rebecca said there were no warning signs that Blankenship would harm any of the children under his care. She said Blankenship was fired immediately in response to the allegations.
"He didn't have signs, and he was very well loved my many, many, including [the victim], and it's a tragedy," Rebecca said.
Inspection reports from November 2018 do not paint Gummy Bear Early Learning Center in a positive light. The center was cited 11 times, including for dirty conditions of the toilets and windowsills, as well as a climbing unit that wasn't stably secured.
Blankenship faces charges of child abuse and aggravated assault on a minor.