An Ohio babysitter allegedly raped multiple children in his care, according to a prosecuting attorney.
Timothy Luna, 25, from Akron, Ohio, has been indicted by a grand jury on multiple counts of rape, according to prosecuting attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh.
Luna faces charges on six counts of rape, three counts of gross sexual imposition and one for importuning—harassment for sex.
According to the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV), every year about 30,000 children in the state are victims of some form of abuse or neglect.
OAESV added that of those, about 5,000 cases related to sexual abuse specifically. It said that only 38 percent of child victims tell someone about the abuse they have suffered.
In a statement released on Friday, Walsh said the charges against Luna were connected to alleged incidents involving several children in three communities.
She added: “Investigators determined Luna was hired after posting his information on www.care.com, a website where families can search for people to assist in babysitting, senior care, tutoring, and pet care. Investigators are trying to determine whether there are more victims.”
People who used Luna as a babysitter have been encouraged to contact their local police departments.
A spokesperson for Care.com told Newsweek: “We are horrified by this report and our thoughts are with any impacted family. We take the safety of our community very seriously which is why we require all caregivers to complete a background check before they can engage with families on our platform.
“This individual has been removed from our site, and we’ve taken steps to block him from ever re-enrolling. We have been in contact with law enforcement and are prepared to assist however we can and as this is an active investigation, we won’t comment further.”
Newsweek reached out to the Summit County Prosecutor and the OAESV for comment.
In September, a 23-year-old woman in Mississippi was charged with capital murder after a 2-year-old boy died in her care.
Makellie Durham was also charged with felony child abuse after an 11-month-old girl she was looking after was allegedly assaulted.
In 2019, Sage Smerk was sentenced to 12 years after he indicated to a 5-year-old girl’s mother that he had sexually assaulted her child.
The 18 year old was babysitting the child and her 2-year-old brother on October 28, 2018. When the mother—who was not named in reports—returned home, she found her children home alone, so she called Smerk.
When the mother asked Smerk why he had left her children unattended he appeared to indicate that he had sexually assaulted her daughter, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
The mother called the police department to report the incident and Smerk was arrested.
He is now designated as a Tier III sex offender. This level is given to those who have been convicted or pleaded guilty to a sexual offense that is punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.
When Smerk is released from prison he will need to register with a local sheriff every 90 days for the rest of his life.
Update 10/3/22, 10:39 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from a spokesperson for Care.com.