Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Day Care Molester Sentenced to 17 Years; the Family Is Fighting DCF's Efforts to Permanently Revoke Their Day-Care Centers' Licenses

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Day Care Molester Sentenced to 17 Years; the Family Is Fighting DCF's Efforts to Permanently Revoke Their Day-Care Centers' Licenses

Article excerpt

Byline: BRIDGET MURPHY

Years of painful secrets spilled out Tuesday in a Clay County courtroom as a former day-care director pleaded no contest to charges he molested some of the children entrusted to his care.

"I know that you thought I would never tell. I thought I never would either," one of the victims of Joshua Palin, 25, wrote in a letter Assistant State Attorney Rebecca Zima read aloud. ". . . But when I finally realized that the things that went on were wrong and not normal is when I wasn't scared, worried or even sorry to see you behind bars."

Palin was sentenced to 17 years in prison. When he gets out, he'll have to register as a sex offender and serve 10 years probation.

The sentencing brought to an end a yearlong sex abuse scandal linked to two Kid's Palace day-care centers in Orange Park owned by Palin's family and affiliated with the church his stepfather pastors. The state Department of Children and Families suspended the facilities' licenses within a week of Palin's arrest June 7, 2005.

Palin pleaded no contest to four counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and three counts of lewd and lascivious battery, Zima said. The victims ranged in age from 6 to 14, including both boys and girls, according to authorities, who documented crimes occurring as early as 2002.

Details of the abuse emerged after a 13-year-old girl told a family member she was inappropriately touched and named a 12-year-old girl as another victim. Clay County detectives questioned more than 45 children who attended the day-care centers at 406 Jefferson Ave. and 2015 Doctors Lake Drive, ultimately charging Palin with more than a dozen felonies involving contact with children. Ten were named in the charges, Zima said.

Among allegations that prompted the charges were accusations Palin encouraged two juveniles younger than 16 to perform oral sex on other children and encouraged four children to inappropriately touch themselves or others. He did it by playing a truth-or-dare game in which he took on the role of "the Enforcer," according to authorities.

He also took part in the abuse, fondling some of the children at the day care and in an adjacent treehouse, police said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.