Second lawsuit filed against Bright Horizons, former teacher

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A second civil lawsuit was filed Tuesday against Bright Horizons Children's Center and a former teacher.

Another child's family has come forward with allegations he was sexually abused, Channel 9 investigative reporter Daralene Jones learned.

Second lawsuit filed 

The second lawsuit comes after a Department of Children and Families investigation wrapped up, but the findings are not part of the public record. A spokesperson with the state agency, however, told 9 Investigates the findings have been turned over to Orlando police for investigation. The police agency would not confirm that, and only said that its investigation is ongoing.

An attorney representing the family said their child was three or four years old at the time of the alleged abuse.

“They never should've hired him in the first place, despite the fact he may have passed one small part of a background check,” attorney Jeff Herman told Jones.

Jayrico Hamilton, the former teacher at Bright Horizons in Baldwin Park, has not been charged with a crime, but has been named in both civil lawsuits.

9 Investigates obtained a copy of his mug shot from the state of Virginia, where we made two phone calls and confirmed his criminal history detailed in the latest civil lawsuit, alleging he sexually abused a child at Bright Horizons in Baldwin Park.

Criminal past           

Virginia Commonwealth Attorney records show in 2012 that Hamilton was convicted of perpetrating a bomb threat phone call. Two years later, he was charged, again, on two counts of assault and battery against a family member.

A spokesperson for the Commonwealth Attorney’s office told Jones those charges were dismissed only after a two-year diversion program, and four months before he was hired at Bright Horizons in September 2016.

Allegations against Hamilton

Hamilton claims in his lawsuit that administrators breached their duty to the young child because they should've known Hamilton posed a substantial risk of harm to children.

The family alleges their pre-school son was three or four years old at the time -when Hamilton allegedly sexually abused him in his classroom; the claims sparked that DCF investigation.

The lawsuit alleges another teacher said she became concerned with Hamilton's interactions with children and met with administrators to express concerns. The teacher reported that Hamilton was "grooming" the child for sexual abuse.

“She alleges that she told them about this grooming behavior to the headquarters, and the HR person told the teacher they'll look into. The next thing that happens is this teacher was removed from the classroom, so it's very frustrating,” Herman said.

New information in the civil lawsuit alleges the child care facility should've known the teacher had a criminal history in Virginia. The lawsuit claims Hamilton was fired as a teacher at a Navy Child Development Center in Virginia for physically abusing a child.

A spokesperson for Bright Horizons told 9 Investigates that Hamilton passed a state of Florida background screening, and was cleared to work in the child care facility. He was terminated in May 2017.

In a statement the spokesperson said: “We respect the investigation process and have been working closely with DCF. We intend to continue to do so as we receive their report and review their findings. We have also been communicating directly with our families at the center throughout.  We have no information that there are any developments in the investigations being conducted by other authorities. In the meantime, we remain focused on the children and families at the center and our dedicated and hard-working teachers who are maintaining great learning environments and care for children.”

Channel 9's Daralene Jones is following this developing story. Follow her on Twitter and Eyewitness News at 6 p.m. for updates.