WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — A New Albany man with a history of sexual misconduct allegations was arrested Wednesday over a claim that he sexually assaulted a 4-year-old girl while employed at a Westerville daycare center.
On Wednesday, the Westerville Division of Police arrested David Cantrell, 30, and charged him with gross sexual imposition — a third-degree felony — after receiving a complaint from The Nest Schools about an allegation that Cantrell, then the lead preschool daycare teacher, sexually assaulted the child in the school’s bathroom.
In 2021 and 2022, Franklin County Children Services received at least four complaints about Cantrell’s inappropriate behavior toward and touching of children. Some complaints alleged misconduct that occurred at his previous places of employment.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital referred the school’s complaint to Westerville police. Gross sexual imposition is defined as when a victim cannot consent due to being intoxicated, or the victim is less than 13 years old.
Cantrell is known to have been an employee at daycare facilities around the Columbus area, according to his incident report, including the following:
- The Nest Schools (840 Dempsey Road in Westerville)
- La Petite Academy (4426 Valley Quail Blvd. in Westerville)
- KinderCare (861 Eastwind Drive in Westerville)
- Gahanna Children’s College (230 Agler Road in Gahanna)
“The health and safety of our children are always our number one priority,” a spokesperson for The Nest Schools said in a statement. “David Cantrell has not been a part of any Nest program for over ten months. Upon learning of the allegation, he was immediately placed on leave and subsequently terminated. While we have no information to add, we will continue to support the investigating agencies as appropriate.”
During interviews with law enforcement, Cantrell denied the allegations about his conduct.
Westerville Police Chief Charles Chandler is encouraging families who may be concerned about their children’s contact with Cantrell to contact them at 614-901-6881 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous tips can be placed at 614-901-6866.
“The biggest reason for us to put this out there is to make sure there aren’t any other victims of him out there,” said Chandler. “If you are out of our jurisdiction and that did happen and you recognize him from this story, still contact us and we will make sure the proper referrals are made to the proper jurisdiction.”
Cantrell is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. on Friday in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court.