Daycare owner accused of sexually abusing preschooler

Posted at: 10/28/2012 9:25 PM
Updated at: 10/28/2012 10:32 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An Albuquerque preschool will open Monday morning despite its owner being accused of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old boy in his care.

CYFD says Peppermint Stick Preschool will be able to open because there’s no indication anyone else is involved.

But its owner cannot step foot on the property or it could be shutdown.

"He just became more angry; just an angry little kid," said the boy’s mother.

Behind that anger are disturbing allegations of sexual abuse at Peppermint Stick Preschool.

"It's supposed to be a safe haven for children," she said.

The woman doesn’t want to be identified but says her 3-year-old told her on October 19th.

"Me and my kids were getting ready for bed,” she remembers. “We were talking about things. We were reading books and they were telling me about their day and my son announced it, like that's how his day was doing. That Mr. Newman bit my private parts."

Mr. Newman is Dermot Newman. He is the owner of the preschool where the boy was in his care. The criminal complaint claims Newman “bit the area under his testicles.”

It also says, “Newman’s penis touched his [toddler’s] penis.”

The 59-year-old faces criminal penetration of a minor and criminal sexual contact of a minor.

Newman has bonded out of the jail.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 went to his house to get his side of the story.

His wife Cindy told KOB4, "My husband is innocent. And we're going to do what we need to do to show everybody that."

Sexual assault experts have interviewed the boy. He told them the same story.

The mother believes Newman sexually abused her son at least one more time after the Oct. 19 and that’s when she called police.

"Because it was late at night," she said of her reason not to call police on the 19th. "I was asking him. He kept on saying it was a joke. He kept on denying it."

Friends and family may question the toddler’s story or ask if the family is after money.

To that, the mother answers, “No. Nope. I thought it was a great place too. But listen to your kids."

The sign outside the preschool says Peppermint Stick has been open since 1980. It’s not clear how long Newman has owned it. But CYFD says he had a clean background check.