On August 2, 2020, a babysitter in Tallahassee was arrested after a 4-year-old pres-chool girl he babysat multiple times told her mother she had been inappropriately touched by her babysitter, Braxton Upshaw. He was charged with one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 12.

According to court documents, the victim’s mother called the Tallahassee Police Department on October 7, 2019, to report a sexual battery. She told officers that Upshaw, 19, babysat her two kids while she was at work that day. When she returned home, the victim said that Upshaw sexually assaulted her. Her mother also told officers he seemed “very anxious” to leave.

According to court documents, Upshaw had been babysitting at the girl’s house two to four times a week since August 2019 while her parents worked.

His arrest report said, “Upshaw sometimes stays late for dinner and has spent the night before.”  

While being interviewed, the victim told investigators, “He just hurts me all the time.” According to a written statement, the victim said “Braxton touched me with his thing. You know, his big black thing in his pants.” The affidavit said an officer with the special victims unit collected samples from the child for a rape kit. 

Upshaw denied the allegations. According to investigators he said they would not find his DNA on the child and that her DNA would not be found on him. His DNA samples were then collected and sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for analysis.

Less than two weeks after the initial investigation, the victim’s mother reported to investigators that her daughter was playing with her stuffed animals as if they were having sex. When asked about what they were doing, she described the animals doing the things from videos Upshaw had shown her.

Upon Upshaw’s arrest, he was transported to the Leon County Detention Center, where he was held overnight. During his first court appearance August 3, Judge Augustus Aikens Jr. placed him on pretrial release. No bail was required. He was ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device, and to stay away from the victim and her family, as well as any place where there are minors. 

When parents have to work and childcare services are unavailable, they face a tough decision to use a babysitter. Referrals through community connections are explored, as well as considering someone they already know. Once a sitter is chosen, parents take a leap of faith their kids will be cared for and safe. It is unconscionable, unacceptable and unlawful that a child is sexually abused by a babysitter. Someone who sexually violates young children has no place in free society. Anyone who commits sex offenses against children must be held accountable for their wrongdoing and imprisoned. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.