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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A New Albany man charged with gross sexual imposition after allegedly assaulting a 4-year-old girl faced a judge Friday afternoon.

Cantrell, who has 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. He appeared in Franklin County Common Pleas Court and was issued a $35,000 surety bond. He also received a $5,000 recognizance bond, meaning he didn’t have to pay that amount, but could be fined it if he does not show up for his preliminary hearing.

As well, he was ordered to stay away from and have no unsupervised contact with minors.

Westerville Division of Police said that Cantrell was accused of the third-degree felony after it received a complaint from The Nest Schools. It claimed that Cantrell, then the lead preschool daycare teacher, sexually assaulted a child in the school’s bathroom.

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.

During interviews with law enforcement, Cantrell denied the allegations about his conduct.

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.

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)

Westerville Police Chief Charles Chandler asked families who may be concerned about their children’s contact with Cantrell to contact them at 614-901-6881 or email steven.grubbs@westerville.org. Anonymous tips can be placed at 614-901-6866.