Nicolas Lhermine is accused of molesting children as young as 5 and 7 years-old. He had two more charges filed against him when he made a court appearance. One alleges that he did a sex act with a child in the bathroom at the YMCA child care center on La Crosse Drive. Lhermine has worked there four summers in a row as a teacher's aide. The other charge is possession of child pornography.
"He's charged with using a child, inducing a child to pose for child pornography basically. And so he would be charged, and under the theory, that he's creating the child pornography," said Deputy District Attorney Stuart Scott.
Morgan Hill police say the photographs were discovered on a cell phone. It's not clear where they were shot. The YMCA has a strict policy that two adults are always with a child.
"We always have two staff on duty at every moment. And so we still don't know how this could have happened, but we're going to find out," said YMCA Silicon Valley Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Jordan.
Police have identified four young victims between 5 and 7-years-old and a 17-year-old who is not connected to the YMCA. The prosecutor says Lhermine would sometimes accompany children on field trips. The YMCA has hired a private agency to conduct an independent investigation to determine what happened.
The care center is one of 108 operated by YMCA Silicon Valley. Jordan called Lhermine a beloved employee.
"Most of the parents who talked to their children about him said that the children reported that he was really funny, and really fun to be around. And that's been heart-breaking for parents to accept that he possibly could have committed these crimes," she said.
"We can't live in a bubble. You know, we need to put ourselves out there and just hope for the best that our children are going to be safe," said parent Nicole Munoz.
The prosecutor feels for Lhermine's parents.
"You come to the realization that you've invested all that time and effort into a child and at the age of 20 you find out that he's doing things that are absolutely horrific," said Scott.