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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Allegiations of Sexual Assualt at Morgan Hill YMCA: 4 Children Victimized by Daycare Worker


Nicolas Lhermine, 20, of Morgan Hill,
was arrested July 12, 2013, on suspicion
of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl
while working as a YMCA daycare
employee. (Morgan Hill Police
Department)

MORGAN HILL, CA -- Two additional victims have come forward to allege sexual abuse by Nick Lhermine of Morgan Hill, bringing the total number of alleged victims to four. Morgan Hill police said they have corroborated the victims' statements and found evidence to support their allegations.

Police began to investigate 20-year-old Lhermine when a 6-year-old girl alleged he forced her to engage in a lewd and lascivious act while attending a YMCA child care program.

Lhermine violated several YMCA policies that were in place preventing staff from being alone with children. Lhermine has been working for the YMCA for the past four years in various capacities.

Detectives said interviews over the past week revealed a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old girl were victimized by Lhermine, bringing the total number of victims to four. Investigators also said they found child pornography on Lhermine's cell phone, including images of a 17-year-old girl.

Morgan Hill Police Lt. Shane Palsgrove said the two young victims came forward during the ongoing police investigation of Nicolas Lhermine who will be facing additional charges.

According to reports, a 5-year-old female told officers Lhermine had taken explicit photos of her and those photos were found by investigators on his cell phone.

“Those unmistakable, unclothed photos were found on his cellphone,” Palsgrove said.

The second victim, Palsgrove said, was a 7-year-old female who said she was molested by Lhermine at the child day care facility.

“Detectives were able to corroborate that statement with other witness statements at the scene,” he said.

Lhermine also soon may face charges involving a fourth child.

“The detectives will be bringing charges (in that case) later this week,” he said.

The former YMCA child care worker was charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a six-year-old girl as well as possessing child pornography for graphic pictures of another underage girl.

Lhermine faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted of the original charge.

Judge Alfonso Fernandez also ordered Lhermine not to have any contact whatsoever with any possible victims in the case and then had him held without bail.

"The charges themselves are extremely serious and the alleged conduct is very scary, particularly for parents of small children," said Supervising Dep. District Attorney Steve Lowney. "These types of crimes don't discriminate on the basis of age. The people who perpetuate these crimes are of all ages, races and occupations."

Police said they interviewed a dozen families last week about their involvement with Lhermine at the YMCA child care center in Morgan Hill.

Palsgrove said those interviews will be continuing and additional victims may come forward.

Anyone with information regarding this incident, or who believes they may also have been a victim of Lhermine is encouraged to contact Morgan Hill Police Department Detective Burdick at (408) 779-2101 or the anonymous tip line at (408) 947-STOP (7867).

Courtesy of Child Quest International

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