CALDWELL – Authorities in Canyon County say a former daycare worker charged with lewd conduct has admitted to sexually abusing 23 children, and more victims have yet to be identified.
Joshua Ritchie, 23, remains in the Canyon County Jail on $2.5 million bond after Judge Brian Lee dismissed a motion to reduce his bond during a hearing Wednesday morning.
Deputy prosecutor Erica Kallin says law enforcement is conducting interviews with potential victims and waiting for results of medical exams.
“We don’t know how many (victims) we are going to have,” Kallin said. “It is still early in the process.”
Ritchie was arrested last month after a 5-year-old boy said he was abused by his daycare provider and the family contacted police. Ritchie worked at Cornerstone Childcare in Nampa and the Idaho Arts Charter School in Nampa.
During the initial investigation Ritchie admitted to sexually touching 13 children between the ages of 5 and 12. Some the incidents happened at the daycare, while other victims were family friends and family members.
Kallin says since then, 10 more victims have been identified. She says the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office also found child porn stored on Ritchie's home computer.
The preliminary hearing has been continued until Oct. 3, while the investigation continues. More charges are likely.
If convicted, the charge of lewd conduct with a minor has a maximum penalty of life in prison.