SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Earlier this week a former Sioux Falls day care worker entered a not guilty plea to nine counts of sexual contact with children.

The arrest affidavit says 26-year-old Chris Phoumy’s alleged crimes were caught on camera at the newly opened Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy in southern Sioux Falls. All six of the victims were three and four-year-old children.

In an earlier statement, Kid ‘R’ Kids said as soon as the center became aware of the incidents, it conducted its own internal investigation, and noted in a letter to parents that it terminated the employee, and reported the incident to the state authorities, child protective services and to local police.

Following his arrest, KELOLAND Investigates discovered Phoumy has worked in child care in at least two states.

KELOLAND Investigates also learned while this is the first time Phoumy is facing criminal charges, this may not be the first time police were contacted about Phoumy’s alleged actions while working with kids.

The original arrest affidavit says Phoumy was seen on camera reaching his hand underneath a child’s blanket during naptime and moving his hand near the child’s bottom. 

KELOLAND’s original story on this case was upsetting news for anyone with kids.

“I read it, and it was, it was pretty hard to stomach,” Sioux Falls dad Parker Johnson said.

But for one parent we spoke with on camera, hearing this news story was like a physical punch to the gut.

“I actually found out while I was at work, I had to take a break and go outside,” Johnson said.

Johnson recognized Chris Phoumy as his kids’ former day care teacher.

“I remember him very well,” Johnson said. “He spent a lot of time with my kids, for two years.”

The Johnson family says Phoumy worked with their children who are now four and five years old, at the EmBe South location in Sioux Falls, starting when the children were ages two and three.

“He would take our kids to the bathroom, he would help them change, he was there for nap time, lunch, he did everything, just like he would at any other day care,” Johnson said.

Our investigation revealed Phoumy worked at four day care facilities, including Kids ‘R’ Kids, and allegedly responded to several Facebook postings looking for babysitters, but his alleged behavior at Kids R Kids is the only activity that led to criminal charges.

Angel House in Sioux City confirmed Phoumy ‘worked for the center more than a year ago and was let go for reasons unrelated to sexual contact’.

EmBe would not comment on any current or former employees but said if there is any allegation of improper conduct, EmBe reports it to authorities immediately.

“Make those reports and allow us to decide if those are substantiated or not, because those are the types of things that will show up,” Sioux Falls Police Lieutenant Nick Butler said. 

Lt. Nick Butler is a detective with the Crimes Against Persons section of the Sioux Falls Police Department. He did not comment on Phoumy’s case, but says in general, when it comes to sex crimes, reports can help police track a person’s behavior over time.

“By all means, call the police, we’ll come out and speak with that person, we’ll determine if they have a history of that type of behavior,” Lt. Butler said.

That’s exactly what Sioux Falls First Learning Center did this May.

A spokesperson for the center tells KELOLAND News Chris Phoumy worked at the child care center in southwest Sioux Falls from the fall of 2021 until May 2022 when the center spokesperson says a complaint was made against him, authorities were notified and Phoumy was immediately fired.

We checked with Sioux Falls Police, who confirmed they received a call reporting a sex offense in the day care’s general area on May 18th of this year, but no other details were provided.

Four months later on September 21st, the arrest affidavit states Phoumy was caught on camera touching at least six children at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy.

“Somebody told me he was in jail, that’s how we found out he was out there and this guy was on our page,” Danielle Meier said.

Danielle Meier runs a day care in her home, but she’s also the administrator of a Sioux Falls Facebook group designed to connect parents with child care providers.

“Somewhere where everyone can come and ask or advertise,” Meier said.

The group has nearly 12,000 members, with parents posting ads looking for babysitters.  This summer, an account under the name Anousone Chris Phoumy began responding to dozens of those personal posts, saying he had six years of experience in child care.

“There were multiple times that he commented offering to baby sit, he was trying to grab any job that he could. And he had the center background supporting him, so he looked like a good candidate,” Meier said.

“It hit me a lot harder now, since finding this out,” Johnson said. 

Johnson is now questioning who is caring for his children even more closely ever since hearing the news of Phoumy’s charges.

“It leaves me with so many questions. It’s all I think about now,” Johnson said. 

A statement from Kids R Kids Learning Academy says it is “grateful their classroom cameras could provide the evidence needed to get this person out of the school, off the streets and into jail where he belongs”.

Phoumy is currently being held in the Minnehaha County Jail. We contacted Phoumy’s attorney who said he would not comment on this ongoing case.