LINCOLN COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — A former child care worker accused of sexual contact with children as young as three and four faced a judge on Monday.
Earlier this month, a grand jury decided there was enough evidence to charge 26-year-old Chris Phoumy with nine counts involving six victims.
On Monday, Phoumy appeared over Zoom in a Lincoln County courtroom.
He entered not guilty pleas to the nine counts of sexual contact with a child.
The charges stem from his job at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy on the south end of Sioux Falls.
The child care center opened on September 6th.
The arrest affidavit says the alleged crimes began two days later.
The document says a parent was watching a video feed from Kids ‘R’ Kids and noticed the suspicious behavior.
According to a statement from Kids ‘R’ Kids, Phoumy was fired and the incident was reported to police, the state, and Child Protective Services.
Investigators searched three weeks worth of videos from the center.
Court papers say they found multiple instances where surveillance cameras captured Phoumy touching children’s bottoms underneath their blankets during nap time.
Phoumy’s bond remains at $50,000 cash.
In a more recent statement, Kids ‘R’ Kids says it’s expressing its deepest apologies to families and it’s grateful for the school cameras.