TULSA – A Grove couple filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Human Services earlier this month after their daughter was allegedly molested at a Delaware County day care center.
The parents, who are not identified to protect the identity of the child, filed the lawsuit in Tulsa County District Court earlier this month.
According to the petition, the day care center was DHS-licensed and the alleged acts occurred around June 28, 2007.
Authorities believe the girl, who was four years old at the time, was sexually abused at the Puppy Pen Pre-School in Jay by a 13-year-old who is the adopted son of Jean Downing, the day care center owner.
The mother of the victim said in an earlier interview that the alleged incidents took place twice in a playhouse in the backyard of the day care, and once on a cot inside the center.
The petition accuses DHS of failing to maintain minimum standards at the day care. It also states that DHS employees had information regarding the danger present to children and did nothing to warn the parents or protect the child.
At the time the allegations surfaced, Jay Police Chief Mike Shambaugh, whose agency handled the investigation, said they involved inappropriate touching.
Dan Graves, attorney for the parents, said it is unknown if a criminal case was filed because records involving the teenager are confidential.
The day care was open from 2001 to August 2007.
Downing voluntarily closed the day care center down about a month after the allegations surfaced.
The center was licensed to hold 42 children with nine staff workers, but had 74 children enrolled.
It had been cited several times for overcrowding problems, according to DHS records.
The parents are seeking more than $10,000 in damages.