A man has been charged with a series of sick sex assaults against young girls – while he was working as a childminder.
The 36-year-old registered childminder faces a shocking eight charges against four young girls, including one count of rape on a girl under 13, and four counts of sexual assault by touching girls under 13.
The offences, including three charges of making indecent images of children, are alleged to have taken place in North Somerset between January 1, 2011 and November 18 last year.
Avon and Somerset police investigated the man after the authority’s Children’s Services raised concerns.
The man, believed to have been on the county’s list of approved childminders after undergoing extensive CRB checks, was arrested on December 5, and appeared at Bristol magistrates last month.
Police spokeswoman Claire Stanley said: “An investigation began in November 2012, following information received from Children’s Services.
“As a result of these safeguarding concerns in relation to a specific childminding provision in North Somerset, a 36-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, and making indecent images of children
“The man has been charged with committing a number of sexual offences against specific children and has subsequently been remanded in custody.
“Police, children’s social care, health professionals and other partner agencies are actively working to support those families involved.”
A spokesman for North Somerset Council said the man has never been employed by the local authority.
He said: “North Somerset Council has been working closely with the police during the continuing investigation into these serious criminal allegations.
“There is a need to respect the privacy of the families involved in what is an incredibly difficult time for them.
“The allegations have had a tremendous impact and our social workers and educational psychologists have been supporting the families concerned.
“We will continue to offer support, help and advice to families in the days and weeks to come.”