MORGAN HILL (CBS SF) — Morgan Hill police have found evidence that a former YMCA child care worker may have sexually abused two more victims, bringing the total number of potential victims in the case to four, a police captain said Tuesday.
The new alleged victims, ages 6 and 7, were identified as a result of interviews with dozens of adults and children over the past week in the ongoing investigation of 20-year-old Morgan Hill resident Nick Lhermine, police Capt. Shane Palsgrove said.
The 6-year-old girl told police that Lhermine allegedly took sexually explicit photos of her during a YMCA child care program in a portable classroom at Paradise Valley Elementary School in Morgan Hill, Palsgrove said.
“She disclosed that Lhermine had taken photographs, sexually explicit photographs of her. Detectives were able to corroborate this evidence, retrieving the unmistakable, unclothed images from his cell phone,” said Captain Shane Palsgrove of the Morgan Hill Police Department.
Palsgrove said they were able to retrieve those images even after Lhermine had erased them.
“A forensic analysis of the cell phone were able to retrieve those recently deleted photographs.”
Palsgrove said Morgan Hill police also have evidence that Lhermine molested the 7-year-old girl at the child care center earlier this month, but have not yet submitted the investigation to the district attorney’s office.
Witness statements from children who were present during the alleged abuse were used to corroborate what that victim reported, Palsgrove said.
Based on the police report about the 6-year-old, prosecutors plan to charge Lhermine this afternoon with lewd and lascivious acts on a child and production of child pornography, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Stacey Capps said.
The allegations will be added to two other charges against Lhermine of sexual acts with a child under 10 and possessing child pornography. Those charges were filed last Wednesday, Capps said.
Lhermine was arrested July 12 after a different 6-year-old girl alleged that he forced her to commit a sex act, Palsgrove said. He was later found to be in possession of pornographic photos of a teenager, police said.
Lhermine was arraigned on the two charges last Wednesday but has not entered a plea, Capps said.
He was being held without bail, Palsgrove said.
Greg Sable, whose two boys go to the YMCA Day Care, said Lhermine was well liked.
“He was a friend and I thought he was a good guy,” said Sable.
Lhermine worked for the Y for four years in different capacities. Police said there may be additional victims.
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