Man accused of sexually assaulting children at in-home day care

A man is accused of sexually assaulting children at his in-home day care in Chester County. Police believe there could be more victims.

Pennsylvania State Police say James Anthony Battista allegedly sexually assaulted a child who attended Little Friends Daycare when the child was 3 years old.

As a result of this investigation, three other children were identified as victims who alleged they were sexually assaulted by Battista throughout their attendance at the day care. The ages of the victims ranged from 3 years old to 7 years old at the time of the alleged assaults.

Little Friends Daycare was located at 2761 Newark Rd., Penn Township, Chester County. Battista operated the day care at the time with his wife.

The sexual assault accusations spanned from 2006 to 2009. The day care was subsequently closed, and Battista moved to Delaware County sometime in 2010.

Battista was taken into custody on March 13, 2019. He has been charged with rape of a child, unlawful contact with a minor, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, and endangering the welfare of children.

Bail has been set at $500,000 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 19.

Pennsylvania State Police say they have reason to believe that based on the investigation and interviews conducted so far that there may be more victims that have yet to be identified.

The public is being asked to contact the Tpr. Stefano Gallina of the Pennsylvania State Police - Avondale Barracks at (610) 268-2022 with any information related to other victims and other incidents with James Battista in the Tri-State Area.