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Seattle child care worker accused of possessing child porn

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SEATTLE -- A local child care worker has been ordered to stay in jail after being arrested for allegedly having child pornography.

The Hutch Kids Child Care Center employee is under investigation for possessing and sharing child porn.

A judge said the worker is a danger to the public and a possible flight risk.

According to federal investigators. the suspect has worked at several child care facilities in the area.

What worries prosecutors is that the suspect, 34-year-old Kyle Tate of Wallingford, worked since 2011 at Seattle's Hutch Kids Child Care Center, where he was surrounded by many young children.

In a statement released to Q13 News, Hutch Kids Child Care Center Executive Director Sue Tregerman said, “Hutch Kids did a thorough background check on the employee prior to his hiring in 2011, which did not indicate any criminal record and there have been no workplace issues or any evidence of improper behavior at work.”

But prosecutors alleged Tate’s entire career path led him to work very closely with kids.

Tate sat quietly in federal court on Monday while his defense attorney tried convincing the judge to allow him out of jail before trial.

Federal investigators arrested him last week and seized several pieces of computer equipment from his Wallingford home during a search warrant.

Because Tate is alleged to have images of sexually exploited infants and children on his cellphone and laptop, prosecutors worried that letting him out of custody would be a danger to the public. He has been placed on administrative leave by the child care center.

Tate’s neighbors said they were shocked to hear the allegations.

“I’m pretty surprised. It’s amazing. You wouldn’t expect to find that in a little neighborhood like this,” said neighbor Ken Riccio. “You know, some of these people may get jobs in that kind of work to get access to kids.”

Hutch Kids Child Care Center is not related to Fred Hutch Cancer Center but operates near the medical campus.

 

On Monday, the federal judge ordered Tate to stay in custody unless his defense could identify a halfway house for him to stay at until trial.