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Child care center worker accused of sex abuse

Tue., Sept. 21, 2010, 6:42 p.m.

A 64-year-old man is accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl at a Spokane child care center last summer.

Eugene R. Wright was paid a stipend through Catholic Charities to work at the Bigfoot Child Care Center at Spokane Community College, where he was known as “Teacher Grandpa,” Spokane police said.

Wright was paid a stipend through Catholic Charities that offers volunteer opportunities for those on disability or fixed income, police said.

Wright passed a background check and began working at the center in late June. He was dismissed in mid-August when a young girl told her mother that Wright had molested her.

Another parent told police she’d witnessed inappropriate contact between Wright and the girl.

Police arrested Wright Monday on charges of first-degree rape and first-degree child molestation. Police said Wright admitted to inappropriately touching the girl said he’d rubbed other children on their upper, inner thighs.

Wright’s public defender said Wright is a lifelong Spokane resident who lives alone and is on a fixed income. His bond was set at $50,000 during his first Superior Court appearance Tuesday.

He faces 10 years to life in prison if convicted.

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