State suspends license of day-care owner accused of molesting girls
The agency, which licenses day-care centers, cited "an immediate health and safety risk to children" at Cano & Ramos Family Child Care. At least 14 children were at the center when Enrique Ramos was arrested last week.
Ramos, 45, was charged Monday with three felony counts of committing lewd acts on a child. He has pleaded not guilty and remains in County Jail in lieu of $1.3-million bail.
In addition to the molestation allegations, the department noted that the day care had failed to report allegations made in 2009.
Both the state and police investigated the incident, but the day care continued to operate.
But Claudia Guangorena, a state licensing evaluator, wrote in a report, "At this time, there is insufficient corroborating statements and/or physical evidence to substantiate this case."
Police forwarded their case to the district attorney's office, which declined to file criminal charges because of insufficient evidence.
A 2012 evaluation of the day-care center found no issues. On Friday, a day after Ramos' arrest, state evaluators returned to the facility and issued three citations for failure to have basic information, including immunization records and emergency contact information for each child.
Los Angeles police said the first allegation was made in 2008, when a mother reported that her 5-year-old daughter had been sexually abused. But the mother was homeless and disappeared before they were able to investigate.
On Feb. 5, a 5-year-old girl attending the day-care center for the first time came home and told her mother that she didn't want to go back, police said. The child said Ramos had touched her vagina, Juarez said.
The new allegation spurred police to take a closer look at the previous cases. They were able to track down the mother in the 2008 case and gathered enough evidence to arrest Ramos last week on suspicion of molesting three children.
-- Richard Winton and Andrew BlanksteinPhoto: Enrique Ramos. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department