Montgomery County man charged with sexually abusing girls at day care

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Local,Maryland,Crime,Naomi Jagoda,Montgomery County

A Montgomery County man has been charged with sexually abusing two young girls while they were at a day care in the man's home, police said.

David Zarayasi, 66, was indicted earlier this month on 16 counts relating to the sexual abuse of two sisters, now ages 6 and 3, according to court papers.

The girls attended the Playing and Learning Family Child Care, located in the basement of a residence on the 18000 block of Royal Bonnet Circle in Montgomery Village, police said.

According to a court document, Zarayasi is the husband of the girls' day care provider. Zarayasi told police that he helped his wife at the day care and would sometimes be alone with the children.

On March 13, the girls' mother noticed skin irritation on the 3-year-old when the girls were taking a bath. The older daughter said that the redness could have occurred from Zarayasi inappropriately touching her sister, and both girls then told their mother that they had been sexually abused by Zarayasi, according to a court document.

The mother then contacted police, and the next day, the girls told police that Zarayasi had penetrated them with his finger. The 3-year-old had been abused recently. Her older sister said that Zarayasi had assaulted her a couple of years ago, according to the document.

When police interviewed Zarayasi that day, he denied sexually abusing the 3-year-old. He said that he had inappropriately touched her older sister on three occasions but had never put his fingers inside her, according to a court document. He was then arrested.

But Zarayasi's lawyer, Andrew Jezic, said he thinks that his client made an "involuntary statement" to police and that his client intends to plead not guilty.

"We're going to prove his innocence at trial," Jezic said.

A Montgomery County police spokeswoman said the day care is still operating. She was not sure whether it was licensed.

Police are looking into whether there may be other victims of Zarayasi. Parents of children who have attended the day care are urged to talk to their kids. Parents who suspect that their children may be victims can call police at 240-773-5400.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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