'Every parent's nightmare:' Dad shocked by charges against man who lived in kids' daycare

·2 min read

A Marshall, Sask. parent's head is spinning.

He is one of the community members reeling from charges — including sexual assault and sexual interference — police have laid against Joseph Sproull, 40, who lived in a home where a home-based daycare operated.

"To have someone you trusted with your children full-time for years. I left my kids there for a week while I travelled abroad ... Someone you recommended to other parents ... To be (implicated) in this is nauseating," the father said via Facebook messenger.

Postmedia isn't naming the man to protect the identities of his children. They aren't among the victims, but the very thought is "every parent's nightmare," he said.

Sproull is charged with one count of possessing child porn, one count of distributing child porn, three counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual interference and three counts of making child porn available, Maidstone RCMP said Wednesday in a news release.

The investigation that led to the charges began after a website alerted RCMP that child porn videos had been uploaded on its platform. RCMP are not publicly releasing the ages of the victims to protect their identities.

The Ministry of Education suspended the daycare’s licence on July 16 and has informed parents, RCMP said on Wednesday.

Sproull appeared in North Battleford provincial court on Wednesday and in Lloydminster provincial court on Thursday. He remains in custody. His next court date is Monday in Lloydminster circuit court for a bail hearing.

The news has sent ripples through the small community of roughly 600 people, about 120 kilometres north of North Battleford.

In a recent interview, Marshall Mayor Darlene Puckey said she once lived near the daycare and was shocked when she heard word of the charges. She expressed her sympathy for everyone affected.

The Marshall parent whose kids stayed at the daycare said he's spoken to the operator, who he described as blindsided by the charges. He had trouble believing it himself until he spoke to a detective, he said.

"My heart breaks for the children, as a victim of childhood abuse myself. I'm sick with grief. Sometimes you can be very close to the devil, and have no clue."

Investigators are meeting with the parents of children who attended the daycare, and support — including victim services — is being offered to everyone affected, RCMP said.

Anyone who suspects they or their child has been a victim, or has information about these incidents, is asked to call the North Battleford RCMP Provincial General Investigation Section at 306-446-1615.

Anyone who requires support during this investigation is asked to contact the Midwest Victim Services Program at 780-874-5021.

Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix

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