McKinney day care worker arrested for 2008 child sex crime

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 25 at 11:29 PM

MCKINNEY — A McKinney day care worker has been arrested for a sex crime against a child that occurred years ago, but is now only working its way through the court system.

Kassi Cano, 27, was arrested at the Stonebridge Academy day care in McKinney on Wednesday for aggravated sexual assault of a child. The assault allegedly occurred in 2008 near Waco, but the case languished for years until a new district attorney recently decided to pursue it.

“In this particular case, I was approached by law enforcement and they asked me if I would look at the case again,” said Abel Reyna, McLennan County’s District Attorney.

Reyna, who was elected in 2010, said the previous district attorney got the case in February 2009, but decided not to present it to a grand jury.

“There was no communication as to why the case had been refused,” Reyna said. “The detective felt confident in his case. I looked at the case, we felt like there was sufficient evidence to proceed accordingly.”

A grand jury in Waco indicted Cano last week on four sex charges against a child. Court documents allege she had used sex toys repeatedly on a four-year-old girl back in 2008. The child’s father first alerted authorities when he noticed vaginal redness and inflammation when he was changing her diaper.

Reyna was not able to explain why the case languished for so long. He campaigned on the promise of working more closely with law enforcement and criticized his predecessor for a high dismissal rate.

News 8 was unable to contact the previous district attorney, John Segrest.

In the meantime, Cano apparently moved to North Texas and began working at the McKinney day care center, where some parents were unaware of the recent arrest. McKinney police said there is no indication any child at the facility was harmed.

“It makes you nervous,” said Mary Clark, as she picked up her three great-grandchildren. “I think they should screen these people better than that.”

Employees at the day care center refused on-camera interviews. One director, who declined to give his name, insisted Cano had cleared background checks.

“We go through the process,” the man said. “Everything came up right.”

He said Cano had been working at the day care for no more than a month, and is no longer employed there.

“We’re not God,” the day care director insisted angrily. “There’s no way we could have known what she had done in Waco.”

But a Google search of Cano’s name would have turned up old news accounts of her 2008 arrest.

Child care licensing agents with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services are now investigating the McKinney facility, but officials there say Cano may have been able to work at the day care since she was never indicted or convicted.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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