Man charged for alleged sex abuse of a child may still be operating daycare in South Jordan

Posted at 10:19 PM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-09 11:10:53-04

SOUTH JORDAN -- You never know who could be living right next door. That's what residents in a South Jordan neighborhood are saying after their neighbor was arrested and charged for sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl back in 1998.

"It's kind of disturbing, it's a little frightening," said one neighbor who didn't want to be identified.

These residents just wonder how many more victims may be out there. Ward Allen Bushman was arrested and charged Wednesday with aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

Salt Lake City Police say the alleged abuse took place between 1998 and 1999, at Bushman's home on Commonwealth Avenue in Salt Lake City, where he ran a daycare with his wife.

"The parents dropped their kids off and trusted him and his wife to keep their kids safe, and unfortunately in this particular circumstance, that appears to not have happened," said Det. Cody Lougy. "We know in these sexual assault cases, very rarely is there just one victim. Generally these sex offenders have multiple victims."

The alleged victim in this case didn't come forward until 15 years later. During that span, the Bushmans moved into a new house, on west Ironmountain Drive in South Jordan, where neighbors say they continue to operate a daycare.

"Well I've noticed dropping off children in the morning and late in the afternoon picking them up again," said another neighbor who asked not to be identified. "It appears to me that they were operating a daycare."

These neighbors were alarmed to find out about the allegations made toward Bushman at his last daycare.

"It just worries me about the kids that are going into the home, and if the parents actually know about that," neighbor Aundreya Burrow said.

Burrow has young siblings who play near the house everyday.

"The fact that this guy could just come up any second and these kids are just having fun and he could just take them," Burrow said.

According to the charging documents, the victim says Bushman touched her inappropriately.

The victim goes on to say, "Bushman and his wife had sex in front of all the children in the house, including herself...Bushman would tell her not to tell anyone about what had occurred."

"I hope it's not true," said neighbor Dennis Jones. "Seems like a really nice family, well together."

FOX 13 News attempted to speak with members of the Bushman family as they were leaving the house Thursday, but they drove away.

Bushman has been released from jail on $100,000 bail. As for his wife, she is not facing any charges at this time.

Police hope this arrest gives other potential victims the courage to come forward.