UPDATE: Former West Branch day care employee facing federal porn charge
Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
WEST BRANCH (KWWL) -
A former West Branch daycare worker now faces a federal pornography charge.
Brady Verlo, 22, has been charged with one count of receipt of child pornography. He was arrested earlier this month after an investigation involving Homeland Security, the Iowa City Police Department and the West Branch Police Department.
Verlo was an employee with West Branch Community Day Care's Kids Club.
If convicted, Verlo faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Verlo has a detention hearing scheduled for February 5.
A West Branch day care employee is behind bars after police say he had child pornography on his phone and computer. It's the first offense for Brady Verlo, 22, which is why the young man would have passed a background check.
Marc Waite has young children and when he learned a day care employee in his town of west branch was accused of having child pornography on his phone and computer, he was glad his kids don't attend.
"I'm kind of lucky because my wife is at home with the kids and everything so I don't have to worry about these kinds of things," said Waite. "When you hear about it I guess it kind of just scares you."
West Branch police and the school district superintendent confirm to KWWL that Verlo was an employee with West Branch Community Day Care's Kids Club. That's an after school service for families at the elementary school. Both the day care center and the the center's kids club are licensed by the Iowa Department of Human Services. Therefore, all employees go through background checks.
"The background checks look for things like history of abuse, whether they would be on any offender registries, and also interaction with law enforcement," said Amy McCoy, Public Information Officer for DHS. "These background checks do look carefully to see if these are safe people working with children."
An online search of Iowa court records show Verlo has no previous record other than two traffic violations, which is why no flags would have been raised.
People in the small Iowa town were shocked to learn the news.
"You wouldn't think anything like this would happen, but, I guess it happens everywhere," said Waite.
Right now investigators are trying to determine whether any of those images are of Iowa children. Investigators said going on camera would hurt their investigation. They could not give KWWL a timetable, but said additional charges are likely.
Of course, investigators hope those images aren't of your children, but if you're concerned contact West Branch Police at 319-643-2222.
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