A former assistant teacher at an Olympia child-care center has been arrested on suspicion of raping a 5-year-old pupil.
The alleged crime took place at the boy’s home, where Elisha Tabor, 20, was a live-in baby sitter. Tabor turned himself in Thursday night at the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and was arrested on suspicion of first-degree child rape and first-degree child molestation, court papers state.
He was being held Friday at the Thurston County Jail with bail set at $100,000.
Tabor had worked at the Olympia Early Learning Center from May 2008 until a couple of weeks ago, taking care of preschool-age children. Renee Dey, business manager for the child-care center, said Tabor quit for “personal reasons” after a parent of one of the students made an allegation against him. But she did not know what the allegation was.
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“I’m shocked by it because he was a very good teacher,” Dey said when informed of Tabor’s arrest. “That’s terrible.”
Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Elwin said Friday that “nothing that we’ve discovered so far leads us to believe that anything happened at the school.”
Rose Horgdal, program director for the Olympia Early Learning Center, said there are no indications that anything inappropriate occurred at the school. She said the school will let parents know there was an arrest. She added that “we always make sure male staff members are always attended by another adult or staff in vision.”
During an interview with a detective, Tabor admitted raping and molesting the boy repeatedly while he lived with him, court papers state. Tabor told the detective he “believes he is mentally sick and made the comment he is disgusted with himself.” Tabor’s mother has alleged in court papers that her son also was the victim of childhood sexual abuse.
A former day care employee who was a friend of Tabor said she, too, was shocked. The former employee, Rachel Sisson, also has a child who was enrolled in the day care program.
She said she was “nauseous” when she learned about what allegedly happened.
“I was very close with that little boy, and it’s just heartbreaking to think of him going through this,” Sisson said.
In May 2009, the Olympia Police Department investigated a separate incident involving allegations of molestation of children enrolled at the Olympia Early Learning Center by a teacher there, Olympia Police detective Brenda Anderson said Friday. Those allegations were unfounded, and the suspect passed a polygraph test, she said.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465 email@example.com.