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Man arrested on alleged sex assault of children at daycare, Fairfax County police say

A 35-year-old man is facing eight felony charges, police say.
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FAIRFAX, Va. — Fairfax County police said they arrested a 35-year-old man for allegedly sexually assaulting children at an in-home daycare.

Police officials on Wednesday afternoon shared the latest details on the investigation during the news conference.

Officials said they charged 35-year-old Elwood Thomas after three victims specifically named him as their abuser at Happyland Daycare in Fairfax County.

Police said the former daycare located on the 6400 block of Holy Oak Drive enlisted children ages 8 weeks to 12 years old.

Authorities stated the investigation began in July 2019 when one of the victims came forward about their abuse at the in-home daycare. Detectives learned that the abuse happened between 2008 and 2009.

Police said Thomas was initially arrested and convicted in August 2012 for a similar sexual assault incident that happened in 2002. Thomas was sentenced to one year in jail and is currently on active probation where he is listed as a registered sex offender.

During an investigation into the accusation, police reopened Thomas' 2012 case and re-interviewed victims and identified two additional victims. 

Officials report that all three victims in the 2019 investigation were abused between 2006 to 2010.

Investigators learned that Thomas lived in the in-home daycare from 1999 to 2012 and was briefly employed until 2010. Authorities are now concerned that there may be more victims. They are asking anyone who may have been a victim of Thomas to contact police at 703-246-7800 so that he can be held accountable.

Officials said victim specialists are working to provide the appropriate resources to the new victims that have come forward. 

"I want to thank the victims and the survivors in this case, along with their families, who had the courage to come forward to share what happened to them," said Captain Thea Pirnat, Commander of the Fairfax County Major Crimes Division.

Authorities said Thomas is facing eight felony charges as a result of the recent accusations.


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