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March 14, 2019

Chester County daycare owner charged with allegedly sexually abusing children

James Anthony Battista ran the child care facility from his home. Police have identified four alleged victims and believe there could be more

Crimes Assault
Police lights arrests crime Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Kristen Oswald, of Royersford, Montgomery County, died during an Ironman triathlon in Ohio on Sunday after being struck by a commercial truck struck while she was cycling on the course. 

The owner of a Chester County daycare, which had been run out of his private home, was arrested and charged on Wednesday with allegedly sexually assaulting at least four children.

James Anthony Battista had been first accused last summer of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old child attending the now-closed Little Friends Daycare in Penn Township, authorities said.

James Anthony BattistaProvided/PSP

Since then, an investigation allegedly discovered three other victims between the ages of 3-7 years old who detailed similar sexual assault accusations. Those incidents span 2006 to 2009. Police said they have reason to believe there are more victims who have yet to come forward.

Little Friends Daycare was operated out of Battista's home on the 2700 block of Newark Road in Penn Township. It closed in 2010 when Battista moved to Delaware County. 

Battista operated the daycare with his wife, who has not been charged.

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According to police, Battista was arrested Wednesday after being stopped for a traffic citation in Drexel Hill, Delaware County. He was charged with rape of a child, unlawful contact with a minor, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, and endangering the welfare of a child, according to police.

He remains in a Chester County prison on $500,000 bail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 19.

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