Bond Waived for Teen Accused of Sexually Abusing 5-Year-Old Girl

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BOONE, Iowa -- A central Iowa mother is outraged and concerned after a teenager accused of sexually abusing her daughter was released from jail the same day he was charged.

Clayton Tullis, 16, was released from jail last week after he was charged with second-degree sexual abuse and invasion of privacy. Court documents say Tullis took pictures of  a 5-year-old girl's genitals while the girl was at an in-home daycare operated by Tullis' mother on Aug. 12.

The girl's mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said she was never suspicious of any wrongdoing by the daycare until her daughter said something to her over the summer.

“My first concern was to make sure she was OK physically. And she said she wasn’t hurt, but she said, ‘He hurt my heart, Mom,” the mother said.

Online court records indicate authorities executed a search warrant on Tullis' home on Aug. 27 as a result of the allegations.

According to court documents, photographs of the victim were found on Tullis' cellphone, which was confiscated by Boone Police Department.

A district court judge suggested a $100,000 bond when a warrant was made for Tullis' arrest. However, when the teen made his initial court appearance, a different judge waived the bond and released him.

"It's frustrating," said Boone County Attorney Dan Kolacia, but he also said not uncommon for judges to have varying opinions.

“Typically in Class B felonies you see some type of bond established. A person is not just released to the supervision of the Iowa Department of Corrections," he said.

The Boone County mother said her daughter's innocence was taken from her, and she is demanding for Tullis to get a full and fair punishment.

"We shouldn't give these people the opportunity to keep doing this to our kids," she said.

Tullis is due back in court on Dec. 28. He is not allowed around anyone under the age of 18 unless an adult is present.

Channel 13’s Jodi Whitworth stopped by the daycare to speak to a member of the Tullis family Friday, but she was turned away.

Department of Human Services has yet to determine if the daycare will remain in operation following the allegations.

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