Parents shocked by child pornography charges against Riverview daycare worker

Dwayne Cross, Hillsborough County Jail booking photo

BRANDON, Fla.—”It’s a big shock to hear about something like this,” says Devona Johnson of Riverview.

She lives their with two children who recently attended La Petite Academy. It’s one of two daycares, 25-year-old Justin Cross worked for.

Cross was arrested Tuesday on 20 charges for possessing and trading child pornography.

The idea that he had access to kids makes her skin crawl.

“I didn’t believe it this morning when my girlfriend was telling me over the phone, but here I am talking to you now and I’m like ‘Oh my God! Wow!,'” she says.

Cross was working at “Child Care of Brandon” when he was arrested on Tuesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Before that, he was employed at La Petite Academy in Riverview.

This means he had countless interactions with children—now, parents are wondering if their children were harmed or exposed by him.

“We don’t have any concern, any immediate concern that any children at any of those facilities are victims,” says Special Agent Mike Stephenson with the FDLE. “Just the mere fact that their kids go to that school would not cause concern. If there have been complaints, then that would cause concern and we would want to hear about it,” he says.

Child Care of Brandon has nanny cams typically used by parents to check in on their children throughout the day. Special Agent Stephenson says that is not something they will be looking at.

“We are going to rely on the digital evidence we recovered from the search warrant. If there is some information out there that would reveal that he was abusing kids at these schools, then that would be important to us, but that information doesn’t exist at this point,” he says.

Both daycare agencies are cooperating with the ongoing investigation. Justin Cross has been fired from Child Care of Brandon.


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