Man arrested at traveling petting zoo in Florence faces new sexual abuse charge


Daryl Raymond Jr.

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FLORENCE, Ala. – A 48-year-old man arrested at a traveling petting zoo in Florence last weekend now faces an additional charge of sexual abuse.

Daryl Raymond Jr. appeared in court Friday morning for a hearing.  He is now charged with six counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.  He remains in jail with a bond of $300,000.

Investigators say the crimes happened April 27, 28 and 29th while Raymond worked for Jungle Safari, a traveling zoo that set up a tent with animals on Darby Drive.  Florence Police arrested him on April 30 after two victims came forward stating Raymond fondled them while on a pony ride. Four more victims have since come forward, thus, six counts.

“It is very disturbing to everyone that got involved in the case,” said Will Powell with the Lauderdale County District Attorney’s Office. “Our concern is, since this is a traveling organization, that there are other victims out there.”

Powell encourages parents who may have taken their children to the petting zoo to have a talk with them. He said if there are any more victims, to please contact the Florence Police Department at (256) 760-6500.

“We will make sure those children are seen by professionals and are given the services they need to move on after something this tragic and traumatic has happened,” said Powell.

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