An Omaha day care worker sexually assaulted eight girls under age 3, police said he told them Friday.

Mark Mays, 24, was initially interviewed by police after a co-worker at the day care where he worked reported seeing “something they thought was unusual” in the way Mays, who was fully clothed, interacted with a 2-year-old child, who was naked.

When police interviewed Mays about the incident, they say he “made incriminating statements regarding sexual contact with eight female victims ranging in age from 23 to 34 months old.”

Mays was arrested Friday on suspicion of two counts of first-degree sexual assault, a felony punishable by 20 years to life in prison, and six counts of third-degree sexual assault, each punishable by one year in prison. A Douglas County judge set Mays’ bail at $2 million. He’ll have to pay 10 percent, or $200,000, to be released from the Douglas County Correctional Center.

The families of all the victims have been notified by the special victims unit, according to a press release from the Omaha Police Department. Detectives are not aware of additional victims, police said, but the investigation is continuing.

Mays worked at Little Hands at Work and Play, 1714 N. 120th St., from December through January. A message left for company officials was not returned Friday evening.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said Mays had worked at several day care centers in Omaha.

A statement from La Petite Academy in Omaha, at 10707 Birch St., said that Mays worked for the day care company “for less than three months, ending in August last year.”

“We were made aware that he was arrested as a result of incidents reported at a different childcare provider,” the statement continued. “We will cooperate with the authorities as needed to assist their investigation.”

In 2014, Mays worked for the Millard Public Schools Foundation, as an assistant director in the child care program, which offers care for students in kindergarten through fifth grade before and after school.

Angelo Passarelli, executive director of the foundation, said Mays worked for them from March to November of that year, but he could not speak to why he left because it was a personnel matter.

Mays on Friday waived his right to a preliminary hearing, which means his case was automatically forwarded to district court for trial.

Anyone with information about this sexual assault investigation is encouraged to call the Omaha Police Special Victims Unit at 402-444-5636. Tips can be submitted anonymously to Omaha Police Crime Stoppers at 402-444-STOP or at omahacrimestoppers.org.

Contact the writer: 402-444-3100, maggie.obrien@owh.com

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