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No State License At Child Care Where Boy Assaulted

(WCCO) After the beating and sexual assault of a 3-year-old boy in the Kids Quest child care center at Grand Casino Mille Lacs, it was discovered that casino centers like this one are not licensed by the state.

Investigators think a 9-year-old boy was responsible for the attack that happened at Kids Quest, a child care center that is run by New Horizon.

“Obviously there wasn’t adequate supervision or this never would have happened,” said the victim’s attorney Richard Ruohonen.

The 3-year-old’s mother said the boy received cuts and bruises during the attack at Kids Quest.

“There should have been police called and there should have been medical personnel there and unfortunately that didn’t happen,” said Ruohonen.

“I can’t speak for Kids Quest. You’d have to inquire of them why they did not contact authorities,” said Mille Lacs Band Of Ojibwe Solicitor General Rjay Brunkow.

WCCO-TV did contact New Horizon, who leases the Kids Quest space from the casino, and they refused to say.

The victim’s attorney said the toddler told his mother that the assault happened inside a pink ball in the play area.

“Our client was told they only check the tubes, the enclosed areas, once an hour,” said Ruohonen. “And to only check them once an hour, if that’s true, and that’s what she was told, is frankly ridiculous.”

Child care center on any tribal land are not licensed by Minnesota’s Human Services Department. The Native American government of each band determines requirements and regulations for day care centers.

“We do have the ability to insist that changes are made or Kids Quest will no longer be associated with the band,” said Brunkow.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, Kids Quest’s vendor license was temporarily suspended and the doors closed pending a hearing on Friday. Meantime, the wounded child and his mother are trying to cope with the trauma.

“He’s scared, he’s sleeping at night with his mom. He reaches out for her every night to see if she is there?” said Ruohonen. “She’s angry at the fact it was allowed to happen. The fact that there was no one there watching out for her son.”

The family only came forward to share their tragedy to prevent other children from suffering the same fate. They’re just sorry something as terrible as this had to happen before changes were made at the casino.

Kids Quest at Grand Casino Hinkley is also temporarily shut down. The other child care centers operated by New Horizon at Jackpot Junction and Treasure Island remain open.

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