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LEHI — Alfredo Vargas faces a long list of charges for what prosecutors say happened at a daycare center operated in his home. Vargas spent the day in a court hearing Wednesday.
The allegations first surfaced back in December when Vargas was arrested and initially charged. New charges were filed involving yet another victim in April, and Wednesday, the judge set a preliminary hearing for later this summer.
Four of the mothers of alleged victims were in the courtroom, and they told KSL they were glad to see the wheels of justice starting to turn.
"It's awful. I think I was extremely naïve knowing how prevalent it is," said one mother.
She is full of regret - regret that she took her young daughter to Little Bears Daycare, where Alfredo Vargas assisted his wife in caring for children.
"We're in therapy, group therapy and individual therapy, and working through it," she said.
Prosecutors said Vargas ran the daycare himself for a time, while his wife was out of the country. He faces 20 felony counts involving five children, but other parents of young girls who went to the daycare also believe their children were victimized.
We're in therapy, group therapy and individual therapy, and working through it.
–mother of alleged victim
"We don't have any direct evidence because she's so young, but she's said several things that indicated there was some abuse," said another mother. "Even though she's not in this trial, we're showing up because we feel strongly about the fact he may have abused her."
The mothers have struggled because Vargas is out on bail. It is especially hard when they see him with his own children at the neighborhood elementary school.
"(I am) extremely angry and upset," said one mother. "Just wish the process would move faster, because there's so many kids who have been affected by this."
Attorneys for Vargas declined to comment. Prosecutors will put the evidence they have against him before the judge, on July 23.