Parents react after Virginia daycare worker charged with sexual abuse

Rahman Rypkema, 32, faces two charges of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 13.
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VARINA, Va. (WWBT/Gray News) — A Richmond man faces sexual abuse charges of two children under the age of 13 stemming from an investigation at a Henrico daycare.

Rahman Jordan Rypkema, 32, was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of aggravated sexual battery by sexually abusing two separate children under the age of 13, according to court documents.

On Feb. 15, Katherine Hoffman, director of center relations with Tuckaway Child Development & Early Education Center, said the allegations against an employee came forward to the day care center after a Child Protective Services report was filed Feb. 14.

At the time of the investigation, Rypkema had been placed on leave.

A month later, parent Tyson Hawkins says this investigation is especially disturbing because his daughter was in Rypkema's class.

"I'm kind of appalled and taken aback by it," said Hawkins. "It was kind of alarming because, like I said, my daughter was in the same class."

Hawkins said while he didn't notice anything suspicious with his daughter, it hasn't stopped him and others from having tough conversations with their children.

Hawkins said the Tuckaway directors told him appropriate changes will be made.

"They did say they would tighten up on a lot of their security measures, so I'm very happy about that."

But some parents, like Brandi Green, are still uneasy about the environment at Tuckaway.

"A lot of parents have said they're pulling their kids from here," Green said. "I'm still on the fence."

And for Hawkins, the actions haven't broke his trust with Tuckaway.

"I wouldn't just pull my child out because of this instance. I would just be more cautious and more alert," Hawkins said.

Court documents released Thursday state on or about Sept. 1, 2018, to Feb. 12, 2019, Rypkema sexually abused one child and then another child on or about Feb. 12.

Rypkema appeared in court Thursday morning and was ordered held without bond, no contact with the victims, and no employment at the daycare.

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