SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A former child care worker is behind bars accused of raping a 3-year-old girl last week at a Sioux Falls day care.

18-year-old Carter Ronke was arrested Friday. He is charged with rape and sexual contact with a child.

Carter Michael Ronke
Carter Michael Ronke

Last Wednesday, a mother picked up her 3-year-old daughter from a day care on South Westport Avenue, near the Empire Mall.

According to court papers, the mom noticed her daughter was bleeding after using the restroom. The little girl then told her mom that she hurt “really bad” and that “he told me to touch him, then he touched me.” The little girl also said they were “playing a game” during nap time.

On March 30, Sioux Falls Police were sent to the Sanford emergency room where the 3-year-old was examined. A responding officer spoke with a doctor, who said the victim had “obvious trauma.”

The day care was also informed, and the accused Ronke was sent home that day. During an interview, Ronke told detectives there was a time he was alone with children and that he would help take them to the bathroom. Detectives asked if DNA or other bodily fluids would be found on the victim — which Ronke denied.

Investigators spoke with the victim later that same day. She said Ronke touched her privates in her classroom while she was playing with toys. She said it happened one day and not more than one day.

At the end of the interview, a Child Protection Services worker informed detectives that the victim drew a picture and said it was “a girl walking or running away from a scary scary guy.”

Ronke was arrested and booked into jail Friday evening. He worked at the day care “For the Love of Children,” which is near the Empire Mall.

We also checked Ronke’s background, he does not appear to have a criminal history in South Dakota.

We did reach out the day care, who said Ronke is no longer working there.

We were told they would send us a statement which we have not received yet – when we do, we will attach it to this story.