An Akron man has been indicted by a Summit County grand jury on charges he raped children, one as young as 6, he had been babysitting, with investigators looking into whether he had contact with additional children.
Timothy Luna, 25, was indicted on six felony counts of rape, three counts of gross sexual imposition, and one count of importuning, records show. He is being held in Summit County Jail on $500,000 bail.
The charges pertain to incidents involving several children in three communities in Summit and Cuyahoga counties dating back to 2018, the Summit County Prosecutor's Office said Friday.
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Luna was hired as a babysitter after posting he was available on a service website, Care.com, where families search for people to provide child care, eldercare, tutoring and more. Parma Heights police, who are part of the investigation, said Friday that Care.com has provided information to investigators. Care.com confirmed that it is in contact with investigators.
In one instance, Luna is accused of raping a 6-year-old child from Dec. 17, 2021, through June 25 this year and a 9-year-old child from Oct. 1, 2018, through Oct. 15, 2018. He was indicted on a charge of importuning for online solicitation of a 13-year-old child, records show.
The county prosecutors office is asking anyone who hired Luna as a babysitter, either through Care.com or other services, to contact their local police department or the following investigators: Detective Eric Taylor, Parma Heights Police, (440) 884-1234; Detective Kelly Brown, Akron Police, (330) 375-2552; and Detective Byron Cadwell, Summit County Sheriff's Office, (330) 643-2181.
Investigators at a press conference Friday in Parma Heights said Luna did not appear on any sexual offender registries.
The investigation began in Parma Heights when a mother filed a report with police there. The investigation then spread into Summit County.
Investigators said they have executed search warrants on electronic devices that Luna has used.
Care.com says it does background checks
The prosecutor's office said Luna used the website www.care.com to offer his babysitting services.
Care.com says it does background checks as part of its screening process for potential caregivers such as babysitters. It says it does not share its caregiver background check reports, called CareCheck, for privacy reasons. The company said it strongly recommends that people purchase and do their own background checks on potential caregivers before hiring them, including driving history, traffic violations and civil records. The company also says it does background checks on families seeking caregiver services.
Care.com says it offers additional criminal record, investigative criminal record, motor vehicle and other checks through its website. The searches include court records, sex offender registries, county criminal records and more. Care.com says background checks are not always completely accurate.
A spokesperson for Care.com issued a statement Friday.
"We are horrified by this report and our thoughts are with any impacted family," the statement said. "We take the safety of our community very seriously which is why we require all caregivers to complete a background check before they can engage with families on our platform. This individual has been removed from our site, and we've taken steps to block him from ever re-enrolling. We have been in contact with law enforcement and are prepared to assist however we can and as this is an active investigation, we won't comment further."
Investigators at Friday's press conference said a person may pass a background check and then begin committing crimes afterward. They urged people to have a heightened sense of precaution when using the internet and websites to meet people and engage them for services, that people need to do their own due diligence and not depend on the what they see on a website. If a family hires someone to provide child care, investigators said they need to take notice of any abnormal behavior involving their children and to reach out for help if they have concerns.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Akron man indicted on charges he raped children he was babysitting