BRISTOW, Va. - FOX 5 has learned the state has launched two investigations into the operations of one of the largest day care providers in Northern Virginia.
Parents accuse Minnieland Academy of negligence and failing to keep their children safe. It comes nearly a week after the arrest of a longtime assistant teacher at the company’s Bristow location.
Taylor Boykin, 27, is accused of inappropriately touching four children, all 5 years of age, between March 2017 and March 2018. He is charged with four counts of aggravated sexual battery, four counts of object sexual penetration and four counts of indecent liberties by a custodian.
Prince William County police arrested Boykin on April 20. Parents didn’t learn of the arrest until the following week by media reporting it. Minnieland Academy owners Chuck and Jackie Leopold held a meeting with outraged parents on Tuesday.
In video exclusively obtained by FOX 5, one parent can be heard saying, “I have given your family over $150,000. And last night, I had to talk to my daughter about whether or not Taylor touched her. Give me my money back!”
The meeting at times turned explosive as parents demanded answers from the Leopolds. They admitted they were just hearing of some of the issues parents brought up.
“We cleared out our cubbies right then and there,” said Ogunna Njoku, whose child has been going to Minnieland Academy for about a year.
In an email sent to parents, the Leopolds wrote, “Minnieland also learned of his arrest and charges as they simultaneously went public. We still have very little information from authorities.”
“The lack of preparedness, particularly for this meeting, just didn’t give us any reassurances that things are going to get done in the future,” added Njoku. “We left there with more questions than answers.”
In the packed room, dozens of parents wondered if their children could be victims too.
“People were crying,” Njoku told FOX 5. “It’s just tragic this thing could happen.”
Prince William County police confirmed to FOX 5 the investigation is still open.
“Anyone who attended that center or had close contact with this individual should probably sit their child down and have a serious conversation,” explained Prince William County Police Sgt. Jonathan Perok.
Boykin was allegedly left alone with children, which is against the day care’s own policy. There is also concern that security cameras were not working at the Bristow location – and that other incidents went unreported.
“There were other incidents that we heard about that had not been communicated or documented,” said Njoku. “That was very concerning as well.”
It has led the Virginia Department of Social Services and the state’s child licensing division launch separate investigations into Minnieland Academy's practices.
In the meeting video, Chuck Leopold can be heard telling parents, “This becomes an insurance issue for us.” Outraged parents can be heard yelling. One parent is hear saying, “Oh you poor thing!”
In the past, the large day care chain has faced scandal at other locations. Parents sued after employees were found guilty of child cruelty and sexual assault at two separate facilities.
The company would not answer any of FOX 5’s questions, citing the ongoing investigation.
A case manager will be on-site at the Bristow location to field questions from parents.