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Bridgewater State student accused of child abuse

Man, 21, worked at campus’s day care

Kyle Patrick LoughlinFacebook

A 21-year-old Bridgewater State University student has been charged with sexually abusing two children at the on-campus day care center where he worked, authorities said Wednesday.

Kyle Patrick Loughlin of Wrentham is accused of abusing the two boys who are between the ages of 4 and 5, Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said in a statement.

He was charged with two counts of rape of a child and three counts of aggravated indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, Cruz said.

Loughlin was arraigned Wednesday morning in Brockton District Court and held without bail awaiting a dangerousness hearing set for April 6, authorities said. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

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There was no answer Wednesday afternoon at a phone number listed for Loughlin’s family in Wrentham.

Loughlin was arrested by university police after officers received complaints from staff members at the campus Children’s Center, according to Eva Gaffney, a spokeswoman for BSU.

The arrest took place Tuesday night after Loughlin made a statement to police about the allegations and agreed to a search of his campus dorm room, Cruz said.

Authorities did not say on Wednesday when the reported abuse occurred.

University police notified Cruz’s office and the state Department of Children and Families, and both are participating in the investigation, authorities said.

“DCF has received a report and is investigating and will continue to cooperate with the Department of Early Education and Care and Law Enforcement in their investigations,” Cayenne Isaksen, a DCF spokeswoman, said in an e-mail Wednesday evening.

Before beginning work at the center, Loughlin passed a criminal background check required of all new hires, Gaffney said.

He was among several university students who worked at the center, which serves as the university’s early childhood education program and is used for student training and research, she said.

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A Facebook page that appeared to belong to Loughlin identified him as a student in early childhood education at BSU, but the chairwoman of that department did not respond Wednesday evening to a request for confirmation.

Gaffney said the center serves children from age 2 years and 9 months to 6 years and has a capacity of up to 30 children.

The facility provides care for children of students, faculty, and staff at the university and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, she said.

Kathleen Hart, a spokeswoman for the Department of Early Education and Care, said in a statement that the agency had “received a serious allegation” about an employee at the center.

“The well-being and security of children is of the utmost importance to EEC and we are jointly investigating the allegations with local law enforcement and the Department of Children and Families to ensure that the children in the program are safe,” Hart said.

Gaffney said parents of children who receive care at the center have been notified of Loughlin’s arrest. University officials will provide resources to assist families and plan to meet with them to address their concerns, she added.

A woman who answered the phone at the Children’s Center on Wednesday referred inquiries to Gaffney.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.