NewsLocal News

Actions

Why now-closed Sandy day care remained open after being tied to child porn investigation in February

Posted at 11:00 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 01:00:41-05

SANDY, Utah — Parents and people in the community are questioning why a Sandy day care was allowed to remain open after being tied to a child pornography investigation months ago.

Kelly’s Daycare, which has been in business for over 20 years, was shut down Monday after detectives served a second search warrant related to that investigation.

It’s the second time police have been to the home in 10 months. During the raid, they also found meth in the home.

“We have state assistance on day care, and you would think they would look deeper into it," said a father who had his child at Kelly’s Daycare. "This will be our fourth daycare in a year. Others have shut down, and this one just shut down."

We spoke to a father off-camera who had his son at Kelly’s Daycare.

He was shocked to learn the day care where he’s been taking his toddler for the past six months was shut down after agents raided the home early Monday morning related to a child pornography investigation, which led to the discovery of methamphetamine.

He tells us detectives do not believe his child is a victim, but he wonders why the suspect with the pending charges was still around children to begin with.

In February, 30-year-old Marcus Strebel was arrested and charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

He pleaded not guilty in October.

But the day care, ran by his mom, was allowed to stay open under conditions.

FOX 13 sought answers from the person in charge of day care licensing in Utah as to why this facility remained open after the first investigation.

“One of the points that helped us not to close the facility is that the individual was not allowed at that facility,” said Simon Bolivar with the Utah Department of Health.

Bolivar, the health department's childcare licensing administrator, says the board conducts two inspections every year.

In April, they did an unannounced inspection at Kelly’s Daycare and found it was in compliance, with no evidence of anyone else residing at the home.

“One of the biggest problems we have is we only conduct two investigations every year or two inspections every year. We trust that providers will keep the rules the rest of the time,” said Bolivar.

Former Prosecutor Greg Skordas says mistakes were made.

“The state licensing board, when it looks at day cares, really tries to give the owner a chance. In this case, a mistake happened, a serious mistake, and the consequences could be dire, but I think the board did the best it could to provide a safe environment for the kids,” Skordas said.

Former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder says the big question on his mind is why the suspect wasn’t in jail in the first place.

“It does beg the question: Why did he not remain in jail? Whose responsibility is it to make sure a child sexual predator is not allowed back in close contact?” said Winder.

Winder says he believes detectives did not drop the ball on this case and this should have been better judgment by the day care facility.

“The obvious solution is to not have an individual who's been involved in this criminal activity in, anywhere around, in any shape or form,” he said.

FOX 13 checked in with Sandy City Police who say it could be weeks before formal charges are filed. We still have not learned the details as to what happened during Monday's raid, other than meth being found in the home.