AVONDALE—A man who police say sexually assaulted children at his in-home daycare has been arrested, and police are asking for the public’s help in identifying other children who may have been victims.
The Pennsylvania State Police Avondale Barracks received a report in June of last year that James Anthony Battista had allegedly sexually assaulted a child who attended his in-home daycare, Little Friends Daycare, when the child was 3 years old. Little Friends Daycare was located at 2761 Newark Road, Penn Township.
As a result of the investigation, three other children were identified as victims who alleged they were sexually assaulted by Battista throughout their stay at the in-home daycare. The ages of the victims range from 3 years old to 7 years old at the time of the assaults.
The sexual assault accusations span from 2006 to 2009, police say. The daycare was subsequently closed, and Battista moved to Delaware County sometime in 2010.
The Pennsylvania State Police arrested and took Battista into custody Battista on Wednesday and he has been charged with rape of a child, unlawful contact with a minor, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, and endangering the welfare of children. Battista was arraigned and remanded to the Chester County Prison on $500,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 19.
Police believe that based on this investigation and interviews conducted so far, that there may be more victims. The public is being asked to contact the Tpr. Stefano Gallina of the Pennsylvania State Police – Avondale Barracks at (610) 268-2022 with any information related to other victims and other incidents with Battista in the Tri-State area.