A Gaston County daycare owner being held on a $2.5 million bond after he was charged with multiple sex crimes against children made his first court appearance Thursday.
According to Stanley Police, officers worked with the Gaston County Police Department to arrest 57-year-old Robert Youngblood Kerby, of East Chestnut Street Wednesday.
Kerby, who owns Caron's Care Daycare with his wife, is accused of sexually assaulting a child.
Stanley Police, Gaston County Police and agents from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at Kerby's home and the daycare on Tuesday night.
In court Thursday, Kerby sat quietly as Stanley Chief of Police, Derek Summey, rattled off what investigators found during the search.
"Five computer towers, 23 data storage devices, three cameras," Summey told the judge. "This is on top of the victim in this case giving us a strong indication that there could be child pornography found."
No child pornography charges had been filed as of the court hearing, but the Chief of Police tells WBTV he expects more charges to be filed as more victims come forward.
"We would ask parents, past students, students in the past that believe they were victimized, we ask them to give us a call at the Stanley Police Department," he said.
Investigators have met with parents of children currently attending the daycare and say they will be seeking a temporary suspension of the facility's license until the investigation is complete.
WBTV talked to a woman whose child attended the daycare several years ago.
"Always very family-oriented," recalled Michelle, who didn't want to give her last name. "Like I said, I never had any suspicions whatsoever."
She also pointed out the man in the mug shot is not the Kerby she remembers.
"The picture that is on the news is not the man I remember," she pointed out. "If that was the man that had been at the daycare at the time, I never would have left my son to be cared for there."
But it was a different feeling for one of Kerby's neighbors. She wanted to remain anonymous but told WBTV, "I told my sister that he was old and seemed weird but maybe it was just because he was old. Now it makes me wonder."
She also said her 9-year-old daughter often went to the daycare after school and that Kerby had walked her child home several times.
"I am floored," she said. "I'm shocked and I'm scared. I'm scared that he's put his hands on my daughter."
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Caron's Daycare violated a rule in March 2012 in that "A modified criminal record check was not conducted every three years. The owner's spouse had not submitted the appropriate paperwork for his 3 year criminal record recheck."
Wednesday, Kerby was being held in the Gaston County Jail under a $2 million bond. Thursday in court, that bond was raised to $2.5 million.
Kerby was booked early Wednesday morning and held on five charges of sex offenses. Just after 6 p.m. on Wednesday night Kerby was hit with six additional charges of sex crimes.
Ten of the charges are felony charges, one is a misdemeanor.
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