by Celina Westervelt
It’s a parents worst nightmare, a 3-year-old boy says he was sexually assaulted by his preschool teacher.
On Sunday that teacher, Dermot Newman, 59, who also owns the Peppermint Stick Preschool on Jefferson near Lomas faced a judge.
According to the criminal complaint last Friday the boy told his mom Newman, his teacher showed him his privates, and then touched them. The boy also told his mom and her boyfriend that Newman bit his private areas and asked the boy to do the same thing to his privates.
That’s when police were called. Newman was arrested Saturday.
The boy was questioned by sexual assault investigators and he told them the same story.
More than 100 people showed up to Newman’s fist appearance hoping their presence would say a judge to reduce his bond. Newman’s lawyer argued the $100,000 cash only bond was too high, citing that his client has no known criminal history.
The judge said that didn’t matter. “I find the allegations based on the complaint are concerning in the nature of themselves. I do believe that he poses a danger to the community, especially in the position that he’s in,” said Metro Court Judge Henry Alaniz.
The judge kept Newman’s bond at $100,000 but changed it to a surety bond meaning he only needs $10,000 to bond out. His supporters helped him raise the money and post bail Sunday afternoon.
They claim Newman is innocent.
“That day care needs to stay alive,” said Shannon Delap a family friend. “It has changed so many lives. I can’t imagine it not continuing because one allegation in 33 years.”
Delap said in the 33 years that the Newman’s have owned the preschool, they’ve handed out scholarships and even given needy families food.
But Judge Alaniz told the teacher and owner he is not allowed to go back to the preschool while the case is pending.
News 13 has also learned the preschool’s record isn’t perfect.
All employees must pass a background check and in January the state found one worker didn’t have one. They also found multiple safety hazards including exposed electrical outlets, dirty toys, unlabeled food and chemicals exposed where children could get to them.
Online records show the school fixed all of the problems and says they can open their doors to students tomorrow as long as Newman stays away.
The alleged victim’s family did not wish to comment on the case.
This article was written by Celina Westervelt and originally published on krqe