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Volunteer Accused of Sexual Assault Removed from Church Preschool

Officials at St. Augustine Lutheran Church's preschool facility removed the named suspect "immediately" upon learning of the investigations by Troy Police and Child Protective Services.

Officials at St. Augustine Lutheran Church's preschool facility are cooperating with investigations regarding a possible sexual assault of a child at the school.

Richard Gady, a member of the preschool's board of directors, said at a press conference Thursday that after they learned about the investigations by the Troy Police Department and Child Protective Services on May 24, the named suspect was let go "immediately."

The school caters to preschool and pre-K children between the ages of 2-and-a-half to 5 years, employing a paid staff as well as volunteers, Gady said. The suspect was a volunteer.

The incident took place "a few years ago," Gady added.

"It’s important to get the message out that we’re protecting the children involved, the parents involved in our preschool. We’re using this opportunity to disclose this with whatever information we can honestly give you," Gady said.

Troy Police said on Wednesday that the report was made on May 22 and Child Protective Services was notified. Child Protective Services sent letters out to parents who have children who attended the school within the last few years, because of the nature and location of the crime.

Troy Police Capt. Robert Redmond added that the "multi-faceted investigation" is required to be done quietly, in accordance with state guidelines of child sexual assault cases.

"This will be a lengthy investigation, obviously, because of what it entails. Any time you see these types of investigations, it takes time," he said. 

Classes run from September through June at St. Augustine and 24 students currently attend.

Call Troy Police at (248) 524-3447 if you have any information about these incidents. For questions about this report, email local editor Tim Rath at tim.rath@patch.com

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