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Former Bridgewater Day Care Director Held On $25,000 Bail

BRIDGEWATER (CBS) — The former director of Bridgewater State University's day care center was ordered held on $25,000 bail Thursday in connection with a child rape investigation.

Judith Ritacco, 53, of Boylston, pleaded not guilty in Brockton District Court to charges of reckless child endangerment, witness intimidation and misleading investigators. She turned herself in to police Wednesday.

Prosecutors say she never contacted authorities when other workers brought up concerns that 21-year-old Kyle Loughlin had been inappropriately touching children at the center.

Kyle Loughlin
Kyle Loughlin. (WBZ-TV)

Loughlin was a student working at the center. He was charged last week with raping two little boys, ages 4 and 5.

He is being held without bail.

Ritacco was suspended following Loughlin's arrest.

In court Thursday, the prosecutor said a teacher spoke to Ritacco in early March about Loughlin's behavior and Ritacco replied she would "keep an eye" on it.

The defense attorney said Ritacco heard about a complaint from a parent and she reported it to a vice president at Bridgewater State.

The lawyer said what was reported early on to Ritacco was not "sufficient reasonable cause to believe" there was sexual misconduct.

"My concern is my client is being thrown under the bus here,"  defense attorney Thomas Guiney said.

Guiney also said Ritacco had requested cameras for the daycare years ago, but the university refused.

The prosecutor said Ritacco's husband refused to tell police where his wife was while they executed an arrest warrant at their home.

"Officers at that point were informed by her husband who was still at the residence that he will not tell them where she is," a prosecutor said.

During the earlier execution of a search warrant, officers noticed that "she already has her suitcases out," the prosecutor said.

If she posts the $25,000 bail, Ritacco has been ordered to stay away from the alleged victims and witnesses in the case.

Joanne Hogan has been hired as the interim director of the Children's Center. She has worked there since 2001.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karen Twomey reports: 

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