An investigation by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Seminole Police department has led to a raft of charges against a former teacher at a Seminole County day care facility. The facility’s former director and assistant director have also been charged. The teacher faces 16 counts of child abuse. The former director and assistant director have both been charged with child neglect for concealing the former teacher’s crimes.
The investigation was launched when an anonymous caller told the DHS that the former teacher had bitten a child. When investigators arrived at the facility, the former director and assistant director are said to have told them that they knew about the incident but had chosen not to report it. The investigators concluded that the former executives had remained silent because they knew surveillance camera footage of day care accidents and child abuse was overwritten automatically every seven days. They also allegedly told other staff members not to discuss the incident with anybody.
Investigators uncover a “horror story”
When the investigators watched the seven days of footage that was available, they discovered what one of them called a “horror story.” According to media reports, they observed the former teacher slapping children on the face, buttocks and arms, dragging children by their arms and legs, pushing a child’s face into a table and pulling a young girl violently from the floor by her ponytail. When confronted with the video evidence, the former executives admitted that they knew about the abuse but had chosen not to report it.
Crimes against the elderly and children are particularly heinous, and prosecutors should think long and hard before they consider offering any of these defendants a generous plea deal. While the facility’s former director and assistant director did not assault any children, their actions were just as deplorable. The investigators only viewed a week’s worth of surveillance footage, so we can only speculate about the horrors they did not see.