HURON, SD -
A Beadle County father and son are in serious trouble accused of sexually assaulting two underage girls.
Both Fred Sylaart and his 18-year-old son Jordan were indicted last week. The abuse allegedly happened at the family's daycare.
Fred has been working as a janitor in Beadle County for several years. In July, he was suspended with pay after an investigation. That prompted the Beadle County commission to hold a special hearing suspending him indefinitely without pay. He'll be officially terminated October 20.
Meanwhile, the Beadle County States Attorney says although he had limited interaction with Fred, the news is surprising.
Indictments made by the grand jury last Friday charge Fred with two counts of sexual contact with a minor under 16 and his son, Jordan, with two counts of first degree rape.
Beadle County State's Attorney Michael Moore says the allegations involved two girls under the age of 12.
"They're different circumstances obviously," Moore said. "They weren't together or anything, but they came out of the same allegations."
Moore says the incidents happened around six months to one year ago.
"His wife ran a daycare and the allegations were made by some of the kids that attended the day care," Moore said.
Moore says the daycare operated by Fred's wife was licensed. But she voluntarily shut the center down.
"The daycare was suspended," Moore said. "It didn't operate after the investigation came to light, after the allegations came to light."
Moore says Fred worked as a janitor at several buildings around the county, including the courthouse. Although his interactions with Fred were limited, Moore never suspected anything like this.
"I always thought he did a good job for the county," Moore said. "He was a good janitor, never had any suspicions about him due to anything. So, in that respect, I'd say I'm surprised and disappointed."
We visited the property that is listed under the name Fred Sylaart. When we knocked on the door, a man answered. We then identified ourselves as KELOLAND News and asked for Fred. The man responded 'who wants to know?' and then closed the door.
The criminal case is being handled by the Brown County State's Attorney's office.
Moore won't prosecute the case because he worked in the same building as Fred, which could create a conflict of interest.
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