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Man Accused Of Daycare Child Rape Pleads ‘Not Guilty’

A man who ran a daycare business with his wife in Palm Springs pleaded not guilty today on charges of sexually assaulting an underage girl over a year-long period.

Jose Manuel Mercado, 37, of Palm Springs, is charged with rape of a child under 14 and two counts of oral copulation on a child.

Mercado, who was arrested Monday, is accused of sexually assaulting the girl identified in court documents as “Katharine A.” between December 2003 and December 2004.

The man and his wife ran a daycare center in their unit at the Tahquitz Court Apartments at 2890 Tahquitz Canyon Way, Officer Rhonda Long of the Palm Springs Police Department said.

Police have not said if the child was in Mercado’s care when the alleged abuse took place.

But families that used the daycare within the last eight years were asked to check with their children to see if they were molested, and contact the police if they were, Long said.

Mercado was being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

KESQ News Team

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