GREEN ISLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany County Sheriff’s Office arrested John Ferrara, 49, of the Village of Green Island for alleged predatory sexual assault against a child and his girlfriend, Anna Pratt, 50, for endangering the welfare of a child.
Police say on Tuesday, Sheriff’s Investigators arrested the two after an ongoing investigation into sexual acts Ferrara allegedly committed over a period of time against a minor. Pratt, who is said to have run a private daycare in Green Island, reportedly failed to report sexual abuse her boyfriend was allegedly committing on a minor while in her care. During the investigation, police say Ferrara also physically assaulted the victim’s brother as the brother tried helping his little sister. Police say Ferrara punched the boy after the boy spoke up.
“We have an individual who is basically a predator and he’s preying on one young girl within this business. But it’s even more disturbing to know that the business owner knew this, was aware of this and distracted the young girl’s brother so he could prey on this young child,” says Sheriff Craig Apple.
Ferrara was charged with the following:
- Two counts of Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child (a class A-II Felony),
- One count of Assault in the Third Degree (a class A misdemeanor), and
- Two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (a class A misdemeanor).
Pratt was charged with:
- One count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (a class A misdemeanor).
Ferrara was arraigned by the Town of Green Island Court and was remanded with no bail. Pratt was arraigned and released on her own recognizance. Sheriff Apple says since the incident, the daycare has been shutdown. He says the couple did not have any prior arrest records.
Lori Walker works with the Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center, she sees similar cases like these come into the office. “It’s always sad and heart wrenching to hear it happen especially when you trust your child with someone to take care of them,” says Walker.
In daycare settings, she recommends parents ask certain questions. “Do you have any training in recognizing child sex abuse, child physical abuse — what are your policies and protocols about adults alone with children? There are a bunch of things like that parents don’t always think about and can ask those questions too,” says Walker.
NEWS10 rang the daycare doorbell, but no one answered the door.
Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center: Sexual assault crisis hotline (phone): The Center operates a 24-hour sexual assault hotline for crisis counseling and advocacy at Albany County hospitals and police stations for victims of sexual assault. The number is 518-447-7716.