Petting zoo worker facing 5 charges after Florence petting zoo incident
FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - Florence police detectives arrested a man after receiving reports that he abused two children at a traveling petting zoo in Florence.
Daryl V. Raymond, Jr, 48, of Stockholm, Maine, was working with the Jungle Safari Petting Zoo when he was arrested Saturday afternoon and charged with two counts of sex abuse of a child under 12.
On Monday, Raymond was charged with an additional three counts of sex abuse of a child under 12.
Florence police were notified of the incident Friday when a second victim came forward.
The owner Robert Engesser of traveling petting zoo said that as soon as he was approached by the alleged victim's grandmother Friday, he called police.
According to Facebook posts, a mother of one of the children said her child was inappropriately touched while riding a horse at the petting zoo.
Raymond was removed from his position working with children, but remained at the petting zoo on another job, while police investigated.
After another victim came forward, police interviewed and then arrested him, and the petting zoo voluntarily shut down. Engesser says he's taking the matter very seriously.
"You're talking about a child. I don't know what else to say. That fellow, being irate—I would be too, if it was my kid, yeah. The only thing I know to do is to call police and let them handle it, and if he needs to be charged- which he has been—charge him—because we don't need that," Engesser said.
Engesser added that he checked with the State of Maine's sex offender registry list before hiring Raymond and made sure he was not on the list. Engesser has since shut down the petting zoo, and said he will fully willing to cooperate with a police investigation.
Raymond is currently being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond.
The investigation is still on going.
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