Brian Denby of Wilton Manors, Florida was arrested Monday after he was accused of sexually assaulting two underage girls, news sources report. The alleged assaults occurred at a shelter for abused children; the shelter is now evaluating their security measures to prevent such an incident from happening gain. Denby, 30, was booked into the Broward County Main Jail on two counts of lewd or lascivious exhibition and three counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 15 years old. His bail was set at $250,000. It is unclear whether he has found a lawyer to represent him.
Reports say the assault occurred at the Kids in Distress shelter on the 800 block of Northeast 26th Street in Wilton Manors. According to the shelter’s website, the facility’s mission is to “prevent child abuse, preserve the family, and treat children who have been abused and neglected.” The shelter was taking in children from birth to age 15; however, following the incident, they have lowered the maximum age to 12, sources say. The shelter has also fired two employees for not keeping a better watch the night of the assault. A spokesperson for the shelter says the staff is looking to improve their security protocols.
The alleged assault occurred around 3:30 in the morning January 7. The shelter is a two-story building with a small, fenced-in yard. According to reports, a number of teens from the shelter were in the yard during the night. Danby was also in the area and stopped to talk to some of the teens as he walked by the shelter, reports say.
According to detectives, Danby engaged in conversation with some of the teens and then jumped the fence that surrounds the shelter. Danby then allegedly engaged in sexual acts with two teenage girls. Reports did not identify the victims by name or age, but judging by the charges they were between 13 and 15 years of age.
The shelter’s surveillance camera captured some activity that night, including footage of a few teens coming and going from the shelter’s yard. At one point, the video shows a staff member telling some teens to come back inside the shelter. However, detectives say the camera did not capture Danby’s alleged assault, though the surveillance footage shows a fleeting shape of a man for brief second.
Police began searching for the suspect following the assault and received an anonymous tip on Friday that pointed them to Danby. However, when police went to confront Danby, they learned he had left town on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. The officers waited until the ship docked on Monday and went aboard to confront Danby. “He was still inside his cabin. He appeared very surprised,” a police spokesperson said. “He didn’t know [the police] were coming.”
During police questioning, Danby reportedly admitted to the sexual assault and provided the officers with details that matched those given by the teen victims. The shelter has since moved the two victims to another child care home and they are receiving counseling, reports say. It is unclear whether the victims’ families will file a lawsuit against the shelter for a lack of security on the night of the assault.