Mom’s day care worries realized

Woman discovered Level 2 sex offender when she took her son to a
neighborhood center, since closed

By BOB GARDINIER, Staff writer
November 7, 2005

COHOES — Katherine Guilbeault took her 4-year old son to the TLC Day
Care at 142 Main St., across the street from her home, one day last month
and was met at the door by a man she had not seen there before.

“I asked him what his name was and why he was there and he told me and I
investigated,” Guilbeault, 30, said. “It did not seem right, and the
operator never mentioned a man working there before.”

Guilbeault’s concern turned into her worst fear.

She discovered that the man, Ralph Delude, 35, was a Level 2 sex offender
with a 1993 conviction for first-degree sexual abuse of 11-year-old and
9-year-old girls and that he had access to the children at the day care
center in the basement of the house.

Delude was living in an apartment upstairs from the day care operation
and had dated the center’s operator and owner, Rita Walker, police said.

“I took my son out of there and called police,” Guilbeault said Sunday
from her home.

Police confirmed the day care center was shut down Oct. 19 but Walke said
it was not for lack of proper permits, which had been previously reported.

“When they came to me, I immediately agreed to shut down,” Walker said.
“They did not shut me down. I made that decision in light of the
controversy. I had all the necessary permits and state papers.”

Walker said she had dated Delude but broke off the relationship and he
has moved out of the apartment.

“This is all just a case of vindictiveness by some people against me,”
Walker said.

Police received no complaints that Delude had been inappropriate with
children at the recently opened center but arrested him for not reporting
an address change to police, a requirement for a Level 2 sex offender.

Delude faces a court appearance on the charge and police said he has
since moved from the location.

Guilbeault said she was just trying to protect her children.

“The detective told me they had been trying to find the guy because he
had not reported,” Guilbeault said.

The mother said she has quizzed her son about any contact he may have had
with Delude. She said her son has been displaying some unusual behavior
and begs her not to send him to day care again.

Guilbeault said she has an appointment today with a forensic pediatrician
in Albany to have the boy examined.

Copyright: Times Union 1996-2005

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