State shut Raleigh daycare after reports that girl was sexually assaulted

The daycare center where a 20-year-old employee has been charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl was closed by state officials on April 10, shortly after the allegations were reported.

Building Blocks Child Development Center operated in the rear of Mount Sinai Saints of God Holy Church of America on South Swain Street, east of downtown. It is owned by the parents of Bruce Edward Rogers, who was arrested Wednesday and charged with one felony count of statutory rape of a child by an adult and two felony counts of indecent liberties with a child.

Police think the offenses took place between Jan. 1 and April 5 at the daycare center, where Rogers worked.

Bruce Edward Rogers CCBI

Rogers, who will turn 21 on May 22, was charged in 2014 with three felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Raleigh police accused Rogers, then 17, of having sex with a 14-year-old girl and using his cellphone “to record it for live performance,” according to an arrest warrant filed at the Wake County Clerk of Courts Office.

Rogers pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of publishing obscenity and was sentenced to two years probation, state records show. He was not required to register as a sex offender.

Officials with the N.C. Division of Child Development and Early Education, which is responsible for regulating child care facilities, ordered Building Blocks closed after it concluded the daycare “failed to prevent children from being exposed to a safety threat posed by an employee with a criminal history to have access to children” and exposed “children to a significant risk of harm,” according to a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services.

State investigators also found that the daycare owners failed to obtain a criminal record check for the employee prior to employment and a repeated violation of child care requirements. State officials also accused the daycare owners of providing false information to the state Division of Child Development and Early Education. State officials have not disclosed details about its findings, including the name of the employee with the criminal history.

The daycare center had been licensed to care for up to 41 children under the age of 13, according to the statement.

The state’s action last month required the school close its doors at the end of the business day after state investigators determined the daycare “was not a safe and healthy environment for children” and that “emergency action was required to protect the health, safety and welfare of children,” according to the statement.

The daycare center was opened Sept. 9, 2014, by Bruce Edward Rogers Sr. The church opened a year later and shares the same phone number, according to state records.

Bruce Edwards Sr. was unavailable for comment.

Rogers is being held in the Wake County jail in lieu of $550,000 bail. If he can post bail, a magistrate has ordered him to have no contact with the child as a condition of his release from jail, according to the arrest warrant.

Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @thomcdonald