The husband of a woman who runs a Maple Ridge daycare has been charged with molesting a young girl.
Edgar Hernandez, 48, faces one count each of sexual interference and sexual assault in connection with an offence that took place around Dec. 1, 2009.
Police allege Hernandez touched a young girl inappropriately at Dragonfly Daycare, operated out of his Creekside Street home.
“Ridge Meadows RCMP feel it is important that the public is advised of this incident due to the environment in which the alleged offence occurred,” said Cpl. Alanna Dunlop.
She added that more details of the allegations are not being disclosed, as the matter is now before the courts.
Hernandez’s wife Flavia is listed as the manager of the daycare, which is licensed to care for up to seven children.
When contacted, she insisted the information about his charges should not be released, although no publication ban has been placed on naming him.
“We have rights,” she said.
“And until everything is concluded and done and over with, it is still a process. In that process, he has requested no exposure. So you cannot release that information.”
The licensed daycare remains under operation, although the Fraser Health Authority, which licensed the facility, is aware of the charges Hernandez is facing.
On April 11, four days before charges were sworn against Hernandez, Fraser Health officers visited the daycare after RCMP advised them of the allegations.
Fraser Health spokesperson Roy Thorpe-Dorward said following the visit, a health and safety plan, meant to ensure the safety of all children who attend the daycare, was put in place.
“The meat of this plan is that the person who is charged is not permitted to be on the family childcare premises when children are present,” he added.
Since Dragonfly is run out of the family home, it applies to the entire property, prohibiting Hernandez from being inside and outside the house during the daycare’s hours of operation.
The licensing officers have also conducted an unannounced inspection since their initial visit to make sure the plan is being complied with and will continue to conduct surprise checks.
There’s been no reports of any violations thus far and the daycare’s license has not been suspended.
“As long as Fraser Health is confident that health and safety and the protection of children is guaranteed, we will just continue monitoring,” said Thorpe-Dorward. “If at any time we receive information about a breach of those conditions or further information that causes any concerns, licensing officers will take further action at that time that could include suspending the license.”
A day after police issued a press release about the charges against Hernandez, Dragonfly Daycare remained busy. There was a sign on the home’s front lawn advertising the daycare’s services and children could be heard playing inside.
Neighbours, however, were unsettled and surprised by the revelation of criminal charges against Hernandez.
“Especially since it involves a young child at a daycare,” said a man who was walking his dog and lives nearby.
Hernandez has been released on bail with conditions that include no contact with the victim and her family.
He was also required to surrender his passport, must remain in B.C., is prohibited from working or volunteering with females under 16 and is prohibited from being in parks, swimming pools, schools, daycares or other areas where children maybe present.