HOUSTON - Parents in one neighborhood were on edge Thursday after learning the man who lives next door has been accused of sexually assaulting two toddlers.
Cesar Chavez, 58, is married to a woman who ran a day care out of their Katy home in the Sundown subdivision.
Harris County sheriff's deputies said two young girls told their parents that Chavez, who they called "Tio," touched them and made them perform sex acts.
The victims were evaluated by a forensic interviewer with the Children's Assessment Center and a counselor. They said the assaults began in October 2011 and happened on numerous occasions.
A Child Protective Services representative said the home day care in the 2200 block of Gray Hawk was not licensed by the state, as is required. Investigators told the family to stop caring for children back in January, when the allegations first came to light.
Neighbors describe Chavez as friendly, outgoing, outspoken and sweet. Neighbors said he stayed home most of the time, occasionally taking carpentry and handyman jobs.
It doesn't appear that Chavez has any prior criminal record.
In court, he told the judge that he is a citizen of Peru, but he is in the US legally.
Clarence Murphy, who lives just a few houses down, said it's a good reminder to his two children that people are not always what they seem.
Murphy said that the school bus stop is actually in Chavez's driveway.
The yard at Chavez's home is neat and tidy, but what one 4-year-old told a counselor happened inside is an abomination. She described forced sex acts too explicit to repeat. She also said Chavez did not like her because he hid her in the closet and hit her with his hand and it "made her sad."
"It's kind of sickening. It's sickening," said Murphy.
Chavez has been booked into the Harris County Jail on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child with a $30,000 bond for each.
KPRC Local 2 knocked on the door Thursday, but no one answered.
Investigators said the alleged victims told counselors that Chavez touched other children at the home, too. Detectives want to hear from anyone who believes their child or a child they know may have been touched by him. The number to call is 713-830-3250.
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