Petting zoo employee faces more child sex abuse charges in Florence; police suspect more victims may come forward


Daryl Raymond Jr.

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – On Monday, more charges were filed against a petting zoo employee charged with sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.

As the case against 48-year-old Daryl Raymond Jr. continues to evolve, investigators said more victims are likely to come forward.

Monday morning, Raymond was escorted into Lauderdale County District Court for an initial appearance. Raymond is charged with five counts of sexual abuse of a child.

Florence Police arrested him on Saturday after two victims came forward stating Raymond fondled them while on a pony ride.

“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.”

Raymond worked for Jungle Safari, which has since packed up their tent on Darby Drive and left Florence.

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.

The District Attorney's office has filed a motion to increase Raymond’s bond or hold him without bond until the case is disposed of.

Florence Police said Jungle Safari voluntarily left the city after Raymond’s arrest on Saturday. Police believe their next stop was scheduled to be in the Birmingham area.