Former Daycare Worker Charged With Possession of Child Porn

Sometimes you can have your coffee, read the news and have a relaxing start to your day. Other times, you open up the news and get a rude awakening. Today was one of those days.

This morning my wife read a local news report stating that an Austin man was arrested Tuesday for possession of child pornography. What made this story particularly disturbing was that the man in question, Timothy Seth Osmun, might have at one time worked at the preschool we almost picked out for our daughter. The 31 year-old Texas man was the focus of an undercover investigation by the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Allegedly, Osmun was using an online file sharing program to upload a large number of illicit photos depicting children being sexually assaulted. Officers with the Cyber Crimes Unit confiscated a laptop computer from Osmun’s home. It appears that they nabbed him just in time, since they apprehended a second laptop, when they interviewed and searched him at the Austin airport. The attorney general’s office stated

 “At the time of his arrest, Osmun indicated he is currently unemployed but formerly worked as a daycare employee and substitute teacher in Austin.”

On a personal note, we feel like we dodged a bullet. Per The Statesman, the daycare in question was Children’s Courtyard. We almost had Piper go to Children’s Courtyard for preschool, but changed our minds at the last minute. Now to be fair, the report does state Osmun was not working there currently. But per the report, he had worked there*. Nevertheless, this still is an unsettling story. One wonders how he got jobs working with children at all. Of course, this is something nobody could have known about until the task force did their investigation. However, nobody lives in a vacuum. I doubt Osmun had the appearance of a spotless golden boy, who by coincidence had a dirty little secret. In my opinion, it is likely even a moderately performed background check could have revealed several things that might have given a potential employer pause. [Note: In an attempt to prove this, I did a cursory google search on Osmun, but was unable to find anything conclusive. In my opinion, it still may be true that an actual background check could be more revealing. It should also be pointed out that although an arrest was made, technically these are still allegations, and at this time Osmun has not been convicted of these charges.]

So what do we take away from this, and what can we do to protect our children? We simply do what we can. It’s all about being extremely careful with what we do with our kids. It’s about taking those extra steps, if necessary. My wife and I went and had a tour of Children’s Courtyard, and it just didn’t feel right. So we literally went the extra mile and kept looking until we found a preschool that had the right fit for us. To say that we’re glad we did would be an understatement. It can be a pain, but taking an extra effort like this can make all the difference to your kids. Do your best impression of The Mentalist and keep your eyes open wherever you go. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s usually for a reason. Of course, we need to remember not everyone is a creeper. But it’s also true that creepers are salt and peppered in everywhere these days. Back in the early 80s, there was a great cop show called Hill Street Blues. Every week they ended the opening segment the same way, and it really is the best advice. “Let’s be careful out there.”

What do you think? Are we overreacting to this story, or did we really dodge a bullet here?

Source: The Statesman, Texas Attorney General

*There are a number of Children’s Courtyard locations in and around Austin, Texas. Authorities are not certain at this time which location Osmun had worked at during his tenure with the company.

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8 thoughts on “Former Daycare Worker Charged With Possession of Child Porn

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  1. His actions may be an individual one but it does raise the question about who are watching children in day care. In my opinion, if the slightest hint came up that he wasn’t right, he should have been let go.

    I think owners of these establishment should do a detailed background check of anyone working with children, and I don’t think it should only be done when the person is hired; random checks.

    I don’t think anyone can overreact when it comes to your own child. I think you dodged a bullet.

    1. Thanks, Kalley. Your comments and opinions are always welcome.

      “In my opinion, if the slightest hint came up that he wasn’t right, he should have been let go.” Agreed. But I guess he was let go at some point, since he was unemployed in the end. It seems like every town I live in, there is a story like this at some time or other.

  2. Creaps like sexual offenders can be really good at hiding themselves, which makes situations like these all the more scary!! I remember an episode of Oprah were they talked about problems with neighbors, parents of your kids best friends…scariest show I’ve ever watched!!! The spouses of the offenders talked how they had no idea, but once they knew they got out. Through that episode I found a great website http://www.familywatchdog.us where you can search by your address and find a map of the offenders around you. They provide a mug shot, address, conviction etc, of course this is only the registered offenders. As parents we have a huge job to vet out every situation for our kids, luckily as parents we have pretty good senses. The fact that we have to listen to every concern can be hard at times, but in times like these we are reminded it is worth it, thanks for the reminder!! I almost didn’t look at the site above before school starts next week, eek

  3. I agree. You didn’t overreact. What’s so upsetting is how good they are at hiding themselves. You think that somebody like that would look creepy or just not act “right.” I shudder to think about this. We haven’t seriously looked into preschool or childcare, yet, but I did interview one teacher. She had the daycare/preschool out of her home with her own children and only conversation through email was enough for me to not feel right about it. I usually trust that people are “good,” that childcare facilities do background checks on every employee. Surely they do, right? At least initially. It seems like it would be federal law, or at least it should be. Sounds like that would be a good question to ask. It might also be a nice question to ask if you could meet all persons who would be in contact with your daughter at any given day. Is that too much to ask? I’m not sure in this day in age… Thanks for helping us be aware of just how close this is to us. There was a daycare in our town in which the facilitator (the only adult) was leaving to go pick up her kids from school. Her neighbor thought it was fishy and called it in. Turned out that she was locking the kids in the basement playroom while she was gone. And, when I say kids, I mean children and babies under 4. WOAH! That really upset me. But, sexual abuse/child pornography… a whole nother level!

  4. If he had never been charged with anything, a background check wouldn’t have revealed anything, which I suspect is the case here. Simply Sydney was correct in that pedophiles know how to hide themselves; they know they are deviants however they may attempt to rationalize their desires and so will seldom come across as such. Also, as you noted, the man has only been arrested and hasn’t been convicted of anything. I read an article recently where someone used a neighbor’s open wifi to download child porn; police broke into the innocent man’s home in the middle of the night. Perhaps this is some kind of mistake that’ll be sorted out in time. However, a scary consideration nonetheless. Generally, I think kids are safe if they are continuously supervised and the more people involved in the supervision the less likely something can go amiss. (Supervisors supervise each other too, after all.)

    1. That’s why you always password protect your network!

      About the background check…now employers are doing more than just criminal background checks. Some businesses Google prospective applicants, and go so far as to check all available social media to get a sense of someone. There are ways to “fish” someone and see every online (social) account they have ever set up. And whatever status updates have been made public can be scanned over to see if they have done or said anything untoward. The point was that IF he was a creeper, then he must have something in his past that could show up in a search like this. But yes, some people are really good at hiding themselves. That’s a little scary to think about sometimes.

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