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Molestation at L.A. Day-Care Center Admitted

From United Press International

A former part-time employee of a Los Angeles day-care center pleaded guilty Thursday to molestation charges in a case that prompted the city to institute a fingerprinting plan for part-time workers to determine whether they have criminal records.

Charles Chavez pleaded guilty to four counts of lewd conduct with a child under the age of 14 and was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Gordon Ringer to a year in County Jail. Three other lewd conduct charges were dismissed.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Linda Reisz said Chavez molested three girls and one boy at the day-care center, operated at the Echo Park Recreation Center by the city Department of Recreation and Parks.

His arrest late last year, along with the arrest on molestation charges of another part-time worker at the center, led the city to fingerprint 2,000 part-time day care and recreation workers in an effort to check their backgrounds.

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City Councilwoman Gloria Molina led the effort to institute the plan when she complained that Chavez had been hired as a van driver at the facility even though he had a criminal record.

Fingerprints were already required of all full-time city workers.

The other part-time worker at the facility, Simon Bermudez, 37, was charged with molesting two girls and a boy at the center.


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