Reporting Suzanne Le Mignot
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UPDATED 09/07/12 6:39 p.m.
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (CBS) — A 19-year-old carnival worker stands charged with the sexual assault of a 3-year-old child at a festival in Schaumburg.
Adam J. Moyers, of Franklin Park, was charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault.
This past Sunday, the 3-year-old and an older sibling entered the fun house at the carnival that was set up for the Schaumburg village Septemberfest.
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The sibling went down a slide, but the younger child was too scared to follow. The sibling told their father, who tried to go into the funhouse to help the younger child.
But Moyers allegedly blocked the children’s father from entering, and instead had everyone wait outside as he went into the fun house himself, purportedly to help the child.
But once Moyers got inside and was alone in the funhouse with the child, he committed a sex act, police said.
The next day, the parents learned from the child of the sex act, and contacted police.
Moyers was identified and arrested on Thursday, police said.
Police did not disclose the gender of the child, or further details of what happened.
Moyers works for Fantasy Amusement Company. He had worked for the carnival company for about two years.
Schaumburg police detectives believe that he has committed similar assaults on children at carnivals throughout the Chicago area.
“We have notified all the police agencies in the Chicago area that if this specific amusement company may have been in their town, perhaps in the last six months to a year, there’s a possibility that an offense may have occurred,” said Schaumburg police Sgt. John Nebl.
Anyone who believes Moyers might have done something to his or her child is asked to call police in the community where the carnival they attended was held. Schaumburg police can be reached at (847) 882-3534.
The problem of sex offenders and other dangerous people working for carnivals is hardly a new one. Back in 2006, CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini learned that some carnival companies were hiring sex offenders, as well as drug dealers, armed robbers, and murderers.
Investigators in 2006 found 225 carnival workers with a combined record of 744 arrests and 184 convictions.
One woman told Savini that her daughter was molested by a worker at a carnival in Downers Grove. The woman, “Janet,” said he daughter told her “someone touched her where it felt strange,” when he was pretending to check her seat belt.
The offender in that incident was Michael Cella, who was homeless and had a dozen criminal arrests on his record, but was still hired to work at the carnival by the company Astro Amusements. He was convicted in the Downers Grove molestation case and sent to prison.
Two other carnival workers, Larenzo Bell and Rodney Harding, were living in a homelss shelter and receiving psychiatric care when a carnival company showed up with a bus looking for workers, Savini reported in 2006. Once they were working for the carnival, they were no longer receiving their medication, according to a psychiatric center operator.
In 2007, then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a law requiring carnival operators to conduct background checks on workers, and prohibit convicted sex offenders from working at carnivals or amusement parks.
Records do not show a criminal background for Moyers, and Fantasy Amusement Company released a statement Friday afternoon that Moyers had, in fact, passed a background check.
“Fantasy Amusement Company is a family-owned company and safety is our number one priority. We have provided safe, family fun for thousands of families since 1985,” the statement said. “As required by state law, we complete background checks on every employee and this employee passed that background check. We are cooperating fully with the police and will continue to do so.”
Moyers was set to appear for a bond hearing Friday at the Rolling Meadows courthouse.