On Wednesday, September 18th, Zachary Zimmerman, 22, of Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania was charged with with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, both felonies and other related charges.
In April, June, and July of this year, girls came forward to report assault at his hands to the police while they had been at a day care, A Lot Like Home Daycare, run by Zimmerman's mother. According to the Department of Human Services which monitors day care facilities, the business has been in operation for 20 years and has had no sanctions or violations against it.
Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin was asked why there was such a delay between the girls reporting the assault to charges being filed. He said, “because there was an investigation. We don’t just file charges immediately, we investigate.”
Speaking over the phone The Morning Call, a woman identified herself as Zimmerman's mother and the owner of the day care, but declined to give her name. She stated that she had been unaware of the investigation regarding her son.
"There is no indication at this point that they knew what had occurred but I would suspect there would be an investigation by the state authorities," said Martin.
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services issued a statement confirming that it would be conducting its own investigation. They stated that the day care will be allowed to remain open during that time.
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to protecting the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, especially when facilities we license are entrusted with the care of children.
The department was notified earlier this year of an investigation by law enforcement into allegations of sexual assault allegedly committed against children at a Lehigh County group child care home. DHS cooperated with law enforcement on their investigation and is conducting its own internal review. Until the investigation is complete, the department cannot make further comments.
Carole Olesak, a resident of Whitehall spoke with ABC 6 and said, "I have grandchildren and I use to baby sit my grandson. I would never put him in a daycare...never. Too much stuff like this going on."
The abuse is said to have gone on between 2011 and 2017 and to have happened on repeated occasions, when the victims were between the ages of 10 and 11 years old.
Citing one of the police reports, CBS Phily reported “[victim 1] disclosed that when she was approximately 10 years old in 2011, Zimmerman kissed her on the mouth, made [victim 1] perform oral sex on him.”
Zimmerman is in custody at the Lehigh County Jail for failing to post a $75,000 bond.