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Rochester Police Answer Parent Questions About Criminal Sexual Conduct Investigation

October 04, 2017 11:25 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Rochester parents are demanding answers after a former school employee is accused of inappropriately touching a young student.

Many questions remain involving the case, and on Wednesday, parents were given the chance to ask questions of the police and the school district.

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"The frustration is why didn't back in May, and this is more for the school district, say ‘hey there is this ongoing investigation,’” one parent said at the forum.

Parents were visibly upset as they asked questions of Rochester Police and district leaders regarding the investigation of former employee Nicholas Keller who worked at the school-aged child care program.

The common concern was a lack of communication from the school district between the start of the investigation in May and charges filed in September.

Shariff Ahmed, whose three daughters attend Sunset Terrace Elementary where the alleged incidents occurred was one of those parents.

“As a parent it makes you worry somebody working in the district and we don't know what is going on there,” he said.

“These investigations take time, you're dealing with the logistics of interviewing children, it’s not something that happens overnight,” Capt. John Sherwin said.

Investigators revealed, in this case, it was some brave older kids who came forward to adults and reported the misconduct they saw.

Experts saying whenever children are involved, it needs to be a controlled setting with no room for error.

“Obviously we don't want to lead children in a direction; we want the best case scenario for our investigation, we want the proper information to be credible and valid.”

Keller is charged with criminal sexual conduct and possession of child porn.  Authorities say he had no pictures of students.

"I think anytime you have a case involving a school employee who you entrusted with your own children and you find out that person has violated that trust, that’s cause for concern,” Sherwin said.

Sherwin emphasizing at the meeting that every investigator handling these type of cases are parents themselves.

Ahmed is using this information to revisit the topic with his own children.

“I ask them how is school and they can tell you this and that but you have to listen to them as a parent."    

Rochester Public Schools Superintendent Michael Muñoz took recommendations from parents for improving communication.  He said a letter was sent out to all parents in the district.

Sherwin said there is a potential for more victims and charges as the investigation continues.  Keller’s first appearance in court is scheduled for November 30.


Credits

Laura Lee

Copyright 2017 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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