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Day care provider arrested in sex abuse of young girls

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 29 2012 1:38 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who ran a day care center with his wife for 20 years has been arrested and accused of molesting at least two of the girls he was tending.

Police say they have identified additional victims and fear there may be even more.

Gordon Neeley, 76, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of four counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child.

Investigators say Neeley, along with his wife, ran a day care center out of their home, 1583 Glen Arbor St. (1745 South) from 1984 to 2004. Police were still investigating whether the wife knew of the alleged crimes, said Salt Lake Police Sgt. Josh Ashdown.

An 11-year-old girl recently reported to police that when she was 4, Neeley sexually assaulted her, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. Another woman, now 22, told police she was assaulted by Neeley when she was 11.

Neeley admitted to detectives that he inapporpriately touched the girls "as well as other female children, for sexual excitement," according to the jail report.

Ashdown said investigators were questioning at least five victims as of Wednesday who claim they were abused by Neeley.

He did not know why the women were now stepping forward after so many years.

Neeley was being held Wednesday in the Salt Lake County Jail. A check of Utah State Court records showed he has no prior criminal history.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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