Day care worker charged in molestations waives hearing

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A man facing dozens of charges in the alleged molestations of eight young boys waived his right to a preliminary hearing this afternoon and was ordered to stand trial on the offenses.

Matthew Keith Byars, 25, of the North Side, said nothing during a brief appearance before District Judge Carla Swearingen as the families of his alleged victims looked on.

Multiple police agencies say Mr. Byars molested boys between the ages of 7 and 12 whom he met in recent years through his work as a teacher at Tender Care Learning Center in Scott and in other ways.

Among the offenses, police say he touched the boys inappropriately and forced them to pose for photos and videos detectives discovered during searches of his laptop and camera. He was first arrested by city police on July 7.

His attorney, Todd J. Hollis, declined to comment on the specifics of the cases but said Mr. Byars opted to waive his hearing because "we thought it was in the best interests of the children. ... These are children who have futures. The big concern now is making sure the children have what they need going forward."

Charges related to the latest two victims were added on Monday.

In one case, police charged him with molesting a 10-year-old boy multiple times at the boy's home in Crafton and at Mr. Byars' home on the North Side.

The abuse started when the boy was 9 years old and continued until Mr. Byars was arrested on July 7, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint said Mr. Byars was a family friend of the victim.

The victim told police he did not report the abuse because Mr. Byars threatened him. The boy also said Mr. Byars showed him pornography and videotaped the abuse.

The other case involved a 7-year-old victim who claims Mr. Byars touched him inappropriately while the boy attended Tender Care. The incident occurred in a classroom at the day care center in May, shortly before the victim's seventh birthday, according to the criminal complaint.

Deputy district attorney Laura Ditka said Mr. Byars came into contact with children in many ways and concerned parents should contact Pittsburgh or Allegheny County police if they believe their children are among them.

Sadie Gurman: or 412-263-1878.


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