A second daycare worker has been sentenced to prison in a case prosecutors referred to as a “baby fight club.”
And while the criminal cases have concluded, civil cases are just beginning against the daycare and the two women who worked there. More than a dozen families have filed civil lawsuits in the last month against the Virginia daycare where the women orchestrated the “baby fight club.” Collectively the plaintiffs are seeking more than $12 million in damages.
Jurors convicted the 26-year-old former daycare worker of four counts of felony child cruelty and two misdemeanor assault and battery charges. Originally the woman was charged with 57 counts of child abuse, but more than half of the charges were dropped. She was acquitted of 14 other charges.
Late last month the woman, who had worked at the daycare for several years, was sentenced to 33 months in prison, the maximum sentence the judge could impose, for abusing multiple toddlers in her care. In 2013, while she worked at the daycare, the woman stepped on children’s toes, doused them in water, snapped them with rubber bands, fed them Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and made them fight each other. She even admitted to biting one child.
A second daycare worker, who is now 31 and had worked at the daycare for six years, was sentenced to nearly two years in prison for her role in the “baby fight club.” In addition to encouraging children to bite and fight each other, the second worker tripped them and sprayed them “full blast” in their faces with a water hose. A Child Protective Services report said the women abused the children for entertainment.
The incidents that were reported, took place during an eight-month period in 2013.
At the criminal trial, parents testified their children became aggressive and frightful after being cared for by the two women. The civil lawsuits were filed against the two former employees and five corporate entities of the daycare.
Although daycare management said they had no knowledge of the abuse until a teacher reported it to them, other employees at the center said they had reported multiple incidents of abuse over several months before management took action by firing the women and calling Child Protective Services.
In the civil lawsuit, parents of the children are seeking damages on the basis of fraud, negligence, breach of contract, violations of the Consumer Fraud Protection Act, and other grounds. The families say daycare owners committed fraud when they promoted their center as giving “top priority to the safety and security of each child.” They claim daycare management was derelict in failing to “report abuse promptly to the proper authorities,” and in concealing the abuse their children suffered. The lawsuit also chastises daycare management for not properly screening and training employees.
If your child has been harmed while in the care of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the offices of trial attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian at 800-529-6162 or contact them online. The firm handles cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.