An after-school program instructor at an Upper West Side private school has been charged with sexually abusing two 8-year-old girls.
Channing Parker was indicted on charges including predatory sexual assault, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus S. Vance, Jr. announced Wednesday.
Though the 22-year-old was initially cuffed for his alleged inappropriate conduct with an 8-year-old girl, a second child came forward with accusations of assault just a day after his arrest, Vance said.
"As demonstrated by allegations in this case, sexual predators are often repeat offenders," he said. "We want to make sure that any other potential victims are promptly identified and matched with the resources and help they need so that they do not bear this burden alone."
One of the 8-year-old victims was playing basketball at the IDEAL School of Manhattan with other students March 10 when the group started to head indoors to watch a movie at around 2 p.m., police said. Channing Parker, who works at the school, asked the girl to stay behind to hang out.
Authorities allege Parker took her to a single-occupancy bathroom, where he forced her to perform a sex act on him.
The mother of the young girl called the school and informed them about the incident after her daughter recounted the ordeal when she was picked up from school, police said.
A second girl disclosed that Parker also took her into the same bathroom on March 8 and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.
Some residents of the quiet neighborhood were shocked to hear about the assault and called on the school to rectify the situation.
"I think it's so terrible because this is such a nice neighborhood, I'm so shocked" said resident Shunli Warner. "I hope the school district will work with police to enforce the rule and make sure this never happens again."
Parker's neighbors were equally as shocked by the news.
"You don't know it's gonna be your neighbor and it's surprising to hear this right now," a neighbor told News 4. "We would have never known."
A spokesman for the IDEAL School said Parker was an employee of an outside provider of after-school services, Kids Creative. He added that the administration notified authorities of the incident and have fully cooperated with the investigation.
"Our students' safety is our top priority," the school said in a statement Sunday. "The IDEAL School has terminated its relationship with Kids Creative effective immediately."
Parker passed a mandatory background check for the agency, who has provided various programs for kids to the private school and more than 25 others for more than 15 years, according to IDEAL.
In a statement sent to NBC New York Sunday, Kids Creative said it conducts "rigorous" background checks on all of its employees. The agency said it hasn't experienced allegations of the sort against any of its employees in its 17-year existence.
"Kids Creative is deeply troubled by the recent allegation against one of our employees at The IDEAL School of Manhattan," the agency said. "Kids Creative has terminated the employee for violating its rules and procedures and we are cooperating fully with law enforcement. We will continue to support The IDEAL School of Manhattan and its community throughout the criminal investigation. The health and safety of our students is our top priority."
Prosecutors are asking parents of children who may have had contact with Parker to call the Child Abuse Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office at (212) 335-4308.