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Ex-Day Care Employee Charged with Sexual Assault of 4-Year-Old Girl in Kentucky

Ryan Sydnor via Kenton County Sheriff's Office

Ryan Sydnor. (Image via the Kenton County Sheriff’s Office.)

A 29-year-old former day care worker in Kentucky is behind bars this week for allegedly sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl who attended the facility where he worked, authorities announced. Ryan Dakota Sydnor was taken into custody on Monday and charged with one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a victim under the age or 12, records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

According to court paperwork obtained by Law&Crime, Sydnor worked at Imaginations Abound Early Learning Center located in the 2600 block of Legends Way in Crestview Hills. The mother of the 4-year-old victim in February 2022 contacted officers with the Lakeside Park Police and allegedly told them that one of the employees at her daughter’s day care had touched her little girl inappropriately. The victim, whose name is not being released, allegedly referred to the employee as “Mr. Ryan,” who was later identified as Sydnor.

The 4-year-old victim told police that Sydnor “put his hand down her pants and inappropriately touched her,” the affidavit states.

The affidavit also states that the victim told police the inappropriate touching happened on more than one occasion in the kitchen-play area of the day care during nap time. That is allegedly the only part of the facility that is not covered by surveillance cameras.

In an interview with investigators, Sydnor allegedly denied ever touching any of the children at the day care inappropriately. He further claimed that the 4-year-old victim made him feel “uncomfortable” because on several occasions she tried to kiss him. Sydnor told investigators that he reported such incidents to facility management, however, police reportedly did not find any documentation of such reports.

Sydnor claimed that all he did was sometimes put “his arms around kids while they slept” and “roll up his clothes so that [the kids] could color on his tattoos.”

In an interview with Cincinnati FOX affiliate WXIX-TV, the victim’s mother said her daughter has been having a very difficult time in the wake of the alleged sexual abuse.

“She has nightmares now, she has accidents, she’s always looking out the window for bad guys,” the mother reportedly told the station.

She also claimed that she and other parents had previously tried to report Sydnor’s alleged behavior.

“The clues were there, nobody would listen to us,” the mother reportedly said. “It’s very hurtful and disturbing that if this case would’ve been properly investigated, more kids could’ve been protected.”

Several other families have reportedly come forward to accuse Sydnor of similar inappropriate conduct. A woman whose grandchild previously attended Imaginations Abound reportedly told the TV station that she filed a complaint about Sydnor with the Crestview Hills Police Department.

A spokesperson for Imaginations Abound released a lengthy statement saying that the facility is “cooperating with authorities fully on this matter.”

The facility also noted that Sydnor has not been employed at the day care since January 2022.

Sydnor is currently being held in the Kenton County Detention Center on a $25,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court again on July 19.

In Kentucky, first-degree sexual abuse of a victim under the age or 12 is a Class C felony and carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Read the criminal complaint below.

[image via Kenton County Sheriff’s Office]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.