Trace Child Development Center Molestations
Note: the case resolved in December of 2014.
Trace CDC Molestations
In 2011, authorities arrested former Trace Child Development Center (Trace CDC) child care worker Keith Woodhouse. They charged him with 30 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts on multiple children under the age of 14. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's office alleged that Woodhouse molested nine girls between the ages of 5 and 7 at the before/after-school care program on a school campus operated by Child Development Inc. In 2013, a San Jose jury found Woodhouse guilty of sexually abusing nine children at two facilities in San Jose. A judge sentenced him to 30 years to life in prison.
The law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard filed numerous civil lawsuits on behalf of the child molestation victims. The legal team alleged that, because of its desperate need for daycare workers, Trace CDC failed to perform an adequate background check. The case against Child Development Inc. resulted in a confidential settlement following attorney Robert Allard's opening statement before a jury. The case proceeded against Church on Hill for providing a misleading reference to Trace CDC. This resulted in a jury verdict favorable to the child molestation victims.
According to police reports, Woodhouse had worked in the San Jose and Los Angeles areas since 1999. He worked as a camp counselor, children's ministry intern, Sunday school counselor, and a daycare and after-school activity supervisor.
Woodhouse History Prior to Trace CDC
The civil sexual abuse lawsuits claim that Woodhouse, in or about 2007, sexually assaulted a female minor at a church swimming pool. They also claim that after exiting a pool with a full erection while holding a child, the church immediately terminated him from his position.
Further investigation has revealed that there may have been at least one prior sexual assault on a minor in the Los Angeles area. The lawsuit stated that despite these incidents, Trace CDC hired Woodhouse as an after-school child care worker. The complaint further stated that neither Child Development, Inc. nor Trace CDC properly investigated Woodhouse's background. This included a reference check with the church that fired him. Despite this history, Woodhouse was given virtually unfettered access to young children. Often times, he would even spend considerable time with them on his lap. One of Woodhouse's superiors even admitted that he was aware that children were sitting on Woodhouse's lap. However, he did not stop the inappropriate behavior because he was "lazy."
According to reports that quote Santa Clara County prosecutors, Woodhouse worked for Child Development Inc. locations at Trace and El Rancho Verde from August 2010 through January 2011. The San Jose Mercury News writes that Woodhouse confessed to police during an interview. According to police reports, he said that he sexually touched some girls skin-to-skin. The police report also included a note written by Woodhouse. This note read: "I am sorry for not being a strong-willed person and giving in to this sickness that has recently been affecting me."
Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P.
96. North Third Street, Suite 620
San Jose, CA 95112