• St. Cloud day care owner jailed, accused of sexual abuse of a child


    ST. CLOUD, Fla. - A St. Cloud day care owner was arrested after being accused of sexually abusing a child.

    St. Cloud police said dispatchers fielded calls throughout the day from parents expressing concern because their children attended the man's day care.

    Donna Smith lives across the street from the Rocking Horse Preschool Academy.

    "That day care has been there forever. I would have never guessed it," said Smith.

    Day care owner James Ferguson, 73, was arrested Wednesday, accused of sexually abusing a female child over the course of two weeks.

    The victim did not go to the day care and police said they don't believe he victimized any children there.

    But following Ferguson's arrest, police set up a mobile command center across the street from the facility so parents could talk to detectives one-on-one.

    "We want make sure and be certain that nothing happened at that day care," said Sgt. Denise Roberts of the St. Cloud Police Department.

    Police say Ferguson admitted to part of the crime. They said he told them he was just trying to teach the girl about the "birds and the bees."

    The Florida Department of Children and Families said because of his arrest, Ferguson won't be able to work around children.

    The day care won't be forced to shut down, because it has a director who didn't do anything wrong, police said.

    They said they don't believe any improper activities took place at the day care facility.

    Ferguson is being held in the Osceola County Jail on a no-bond status.

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