MANASSAS, Va. - A Northern Virginia man accused of sexually abusing at least four young children at a Prince William County day care has been denied bond Monday morning.
Taylor Boykin, an assistant teacher at Minnieland Academy in Bristow, was arrested earlier this month and faces charges that include aggravated sexual battery, object sexual penetration and indecent liberties by a custodian. A judge denied bond for Boykin as dozens of parents with children currently or formerly enrolled at Minnieland Academy filled the courtroom for his hearing -- with some leaving the courthouse in tears.
Prince William County police say the investigation began when a 5-year-old girl reported to a parent that she had been inappropriately touched by Boykin. That child’s parent then reported the incident to Child Protective Services, which began an investigation with police.
Court records show the first offense took place more than a year ago on March 26, 2017.
On Friday, officers were seen removing items from Boykin’s Nokesville home as the search took place for several hours. Prosecutors say officers recovered a cellphone from the home that contained images of unidentified children in various states of undress that appear to have been taken on the playground at the day care.
Parents have been upset with the way Minnieland Academy has handled with the fallout of this scandal. Boykin was arrested on April 20, but some parents said they did not learn of the arrest until the following week after the media reported about it.
Minnieland Academy owners Chuck and Jackie Leopold held a meeting with outraged parents on Tuesday.
In video 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.
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.”
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!”
The owners of Minnieland Academy released a statement on Monday saying:
“We at Minnieland Academy are shocked and horrified by the recent allegations and we are relieved that a Prince William County court has denied bond for our former teacher aide, Taylor Boykin. We believe Mr. Boykin should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for violating the trust of the parents and children we serve. We know we have work to do to rebuild trust within the community as we fulfill our mission to ensure a safe and nurturing environment. We have fully cooperated with investigative authorities and we will continue to do so. In light of this horrific event we have reviewed our operations and protocols to ensure that the children in our care are as safe as possible. In addition to our own review, we will be retaining an independent authority to conduct a comprehensive review of all our policies and practices. We are offering counseling to parents and children on identifying abuse, and we pledge to be open and transparent about any additional improvements. Again, we sincerely apologize for the distress that this ordeal has caused. We understand some families may choose to select another provider going forward, and we are waiving any notification requirement as well as refunding any pre-paid deposits for terminating service with Minnieland Academy at Bristow for the remainder of 2018.”