FREDERICKSBURG, Texas (KXAN) — A man who worked at a church day care in Fredericksburg is charged with 12 counts of sexual assault, one count of indecency with a child and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child.
Fredericksburg police say they originally started investigating Seth Batterton, 31, when a child made an outcry to her school on April 19, 2016. The child says Batterton touched her inappropriately.
During the investigation, Batterton denied touching the child, but he did admit to working at the Methodist Church Day Care. It is not known what his position was with the church.
The church pastor, George Lumpkin, says as soon as he heard about the allegations, he fired Batterton and reported the incident to officials.
“We self-reported that and then in turn contacted the police and we terminated him immediately and took away his keys and banned him from any access to the campus,” Lumpkin says. “We also put in place kind of a safety plan to let the parents know what was going on.”
While police were investigating the initial complaint, another girl made an outcry on April 21 stating Batterton had “tickled her private area” while she was at the Child Development Center at the day care. Police arrested and charged the suspect with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child on April 28. A grand jury indicted him on a total of 14 charges May 16.
As investigators were looking through the case, they discovered that in 2012, the Gillespie County Sheriff’s Office took a report accusing Batterton of sexual assault of a young girl. At the time, the grand jury failed to indict him stating “there wasn’t enough evidence.”
Lumpkin says he is still stunned about the allegations.
“It was a total shock with me. I’ve been his pastor and had conversations with him, so no red flags, nothing that I encountered that would make me even have a hint that maybe something like this would happen,” Lumpkin said.
Authorities believe there might be other victims out there. If you have any information, you are asked to contact the Fredericksburg Police Department at (830) 997-7585.
The Department of Family and Protective Services says the day care voluntarily decided to shut down as the investigation continues.