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What if a Child is Abused, Neglected, or Raped in a Day Care Center?

By Andrew Baker, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Ohio and other States, day care centers should be safe havens for children where they can play, learn, and feel safe. Unfortunately, some day care center workers use their positions of trust to prey on children and even infants in day care centers.

In Elyria, Ohio, it was reported that a day care center worker – Heather Coon – was charged and arrested for two counts of rape. Investigators discovered disturbing video evidence of a person engaging in inappropriate, disturbing, and horrendous acts against an infant. Koon and her boyfriend, James Osborne, were arrested and then held in Lorain County Jail. Since this is a criminal case, both Koon and Osborne will be entitled to representation by an Ohio criminal defense attorney or the public defender’s office. The video has not been released to the general public as of this time and may not in the future due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter on the video. You can read more about this story at Ohio Day Care Center Charged with Raping a Baby After Police Discover Video. It was reported that the Ohio day care center (ABC Kidz) is cooperating with the investigation of this most serious matter.

It is certainly a harrowing real life nightmare for the parents of a child abused or neglected in a day care center. Actual videos and photographs serve as powerful evidence in cases of this nature. The videos and photographs are also a visualization that a parent will never be able to forget. The criminal case must be developed and go through the required processes and procedures. Evidence must be gathered, authenticated, and formally admitted into evidence. Witness statements and other evidence will also be collected in the criminal case as well.

When a child is neglected or otherwise harmed at a day care center, it is important that the parents and child get support from other family members, their church or other religious affilitations, the neighborhood, community, and, yes, both the civil and criminal justice systems. Law enforcement and the local prosecutor’s office will be resppnsible for the criminal investigation. Parents can also have their own legal representation during a criminal procedure. While a Child Injury Lawyer will not be able to directly control the prosecution or criminal court proceedings, a Child Injury Lawyer can help guide the parents through the process andhelp the parents voice their concerns on behalf of the child.

In addition to the criminal proceedings, the parents of the victimized child may decide to pursue a civil claim or case against the day care worker individually and / or the day care center that employed the day care center worker. There will be a number of facts and circumstances to review and investigate including the following:

How many times was the child abused or neglected at the day care center?

What training was provided to the day care center worker?

Was a background check performed? Updated?

What supervision was provided at the facility?

Where did the incidents take place?

Did the supervisors or management have knowledge of the incidents?

What actions could have been taken to prevent or stop the incidents from taking place?

Did the day care center follow its own procedures as to the care of the child?

Did the day care center follow the applicable State regulations in caring for the child?

When a child is injured at a day care center, school, or other locations, a parent may be able to pursue a claim or case on behalf of the injured child. Each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances. The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on Day Care Center Injuries, School Injuries, Playground Injuries, and other topics. You can get this book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.