Former petting zoo employee indicted on child sex abuse charges in Florence

FLORENCE, Ala. - A former petting zoo employee has been indicted on multiple counts of child sex abuse.

Since his arrest in late April, the families of six children have come forward, saying Daryl Victor Raymond, Jr. touched their child inappropriately while visiting a petting zoo.

According to the indictments handed down by a Lauderdale County Grand Jury, Raymond is charged with six counts of unlawful sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.

Florence police received a complaint from a parent shortly before Raymond’s arrest in which they stated inappropriate touching occurred on a pony ride.

Police said Raymond worked for Jungle Safari, a petting zoo based in Florida.

The zoo was set up in a parking lot in Florence when the alleged incidents occurred.

According to court documents, Raymond would guide the pony by the saddle horn, and that’s when the touching of the victims would occur.

Jungle Safari closed up and left Florence shortly after the first allegation was brought to police.

The indictment states the victims were all females, between the ages of 3 and 6.

Raymond has denied the allegations. He is being held in the Lauderdale County Detention center on bail totaling $300,000.

Daryl Raymond Jr. is scheduled for arraignment on September 21st in Judge Gil Self’s courtroom.

If convicted, Raymond could face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.