A Linden man accused of inappropriately touching children at his wife’s daycare center will be allowed a support dog during his trial.

61-year-old Douglas William Walsh was originally charged with four counts of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct involving two alleged victims under the age of 13. He was later charged with two more counts of the same. He appeared in Genesee County Circuit Court for a motion hearing Monday in which his attorney sought to have a support dog for his client and a closed courtroom during trial as testimony is expected from an alleged child victim. Judge Joseph Farah granted the motion for a support dog but denied the request for a closed courtroom.

The charges stem from incidents that reportedly occurred in August of 2014 at the in-home family child care center operated by Walsh’s wife, Jana. Authorities conducted interviews in June with a 9-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl, both of whom said Walsh touched them in their genital area on more than one occasion in the basement and upstairs of the home. The child care home had its license suspended in July by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs as a result of the allegations, though its operator is not facing any charges.

Jana Walsh is prohibited from operating a family childcare home at any other address and cannot accept children for care. She does however have the right to appeal the suspension order. Douglas Walsh remains free on a $60,000 personal recognizance bond. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. (JM)