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Lawsuit: S.A. day care's negligence allowed employee to produce child pornography inside facility

Suit filed two months after employee pleaded guilty to federal charges

SAN ANTONIO – A lawsuit filed in Bexar County District Court claims a Northwest Side day care failed to properly supervise an employee later convicted of producing child pornography inside the facility.

The suit, filed by the family of a preschooler who attended La Petite Academy in the 6600 block of Spring Time Drive, said the child was sexually abused and exploited by employee Nicholas Gonzalez-Malven from May to August 2016.

According to a federal indictment against Gonzalez-Malven, he photographed himself molesting children at the day care, then shared those pictures on Kik Messenger and the app Grindr.

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The suit, filed against La Petite Academy and Gonzalez-Malven, claims the day care's failure to properly supervise Gonzalez-Malven caused the child physical pain and suffering, as well as mental anguish.

A woman who answered the phone at the Spring Time La Petite location Monday afternoon referred all questions to a spokeswoman at the company's Michigan-based corporate offices.

The spokeswoman provided the following written statement:

RELATED: Former day care employee pleads guilty to 2 counts of child pornography

Mr. Gonzales-Malven worked for La Petite Academy for less than 2 months, ending in August 2016. We fully cooperated with the authorities throughout the investigation and conducted our own internal review. This situation has been very disturbing for all involved.  We take our responsibility as caregivers very seriously. We remain focused on providing a safe and nurturing learning environment.  We cannot comment on any legal proceedings, as we respect the confidentiality and privacy of our families and the children we care for every day. 

According to Texas Department of Family and Protective Services records, the Spring Time location has had 20 violations the past two years, including an employee who had direct contact with children without going through a mandatory FBI background check.

The DFPS website does not indicate whether that employee was Gonzalez-Malven.

Gonzalez-Malven's employment was terminated after his arrest on federal child pornography charges, according to previous media reports.

He pleaded guilty in June to two counts of producing child pornography.

Gonzalez-Malven faces up to 30 years in prison at his sentencing next month.

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