Preschool employee in Zanesville charged with rape of a child

Published:
Updated:

ZANESVILLE, Ohio -- An employee at a preschool and child care center in Zanesville is charged with the rape of a child less than 10 years of age.

Earlier this summer, the Zanesville Police Department says it received a complaint in reference to a possible sexual assault involving a minor. The complaint alleged that 28-year-old Derek Shaffer had sexually assaulted a child at the Careytown School, located on Pershing Rd. Police say they informed the school about the investigation on June 10 but say Shaffer was still allowed to teach at the school and have access to children.

After an investigation, the case was presented to the Muskingum County Prosecutor Michael Haddox and rape charges were filed against Shaffer.

Advertisement - Story continues below

Shaffer was arrested at his home Thursday.

In video recorded by the Zanesville Times Recorder, Shaffer was led from the house to a police cruiser in handcuffs.

He is currently being held at the Zanesville City Jail on a $1,000,000.00 bond.

CareyTown Preschool and Child Care Center posted the following statement on their Facebook page Friday:

A month and a half ago we were made aware of an accusation made from a former family that attended here three years ago. At this time the employee was put on administrative leave. Upon his return he was always in the presence of a second adult at all times. It was not until last night we were made aware of the actual charge, after he had been arrested. We have been in continuous contact with State Licensing regarding this matter and have followed all of their directions. We have also fully cooperated with local law enforcement and CPS throughout this investigation. We were not allowed to discuss that there was an investigation in progress because at that point it was only an accusation and not one of what the charge ended up being. CareyTown always has put the care and safety of the children first and will continue to do so.