Sunday, January 17, 2016

Day care teacher who turned classroom into a ‘baby fight club’ found guilty

A VIRGINIA day care teacher who turned her classroom into what a prosecutor called a “baby fight club” has been convicted on more than a dozen criminal charges.
A Prince William County judge convicted 31-year-old Sarah Jordan of Woodbridge on 13 felony and misdemeanour counts, including child cruelty, and assault and battery. She was found not guilty on four counts.
Jordan was the lead teacher of 1-year-old children back in 2013 at a Minnieland Academy classroom in Woodbridge. Witnesses testified that Jordan intentionally tripped children, stepped on their toes, encouraged them to fight each other and sprayed them in the face with a hose.
Jordan testified Wednesday in her own defence and denied the accusations. She said she occasionally used the hose to sprinkle kids with water but never tried to hurt them.
“Learning in a Loving Environment” is the motto for MinnieLand Academy. Picture: CBS NEWS.
“Learning in a Loving Environment” is the motto for MinnieLand Academy. Picture: CBS NEWS.Source:Supplied
More than 20 counts were dismissed by the judge during the trial, largely because prosecutors failed to prove that the alleged assaults had occurred within the statute of limitations.
She suggested that the accusations stemmed from workplace disputes with her co-workers.
But prosecutor Ashleigh Landers said the three co-workers who testified that they witnessed Jordan abusing the toddlers had no bias against Jordan and one of them even considered Jordan a friend.
Landers said in her closing argument that the atmosphere fostered by Jordan was “almost creating like a baby fight club” and did immeasurable damage to the psyches of impressionable children.
Parents testified that their children suddenly became fearful of water and started acting out in ways similar to the abuse described in the classroom, like stepping on others’ feet.
Jordan will be jailed pending her sentencing in May.

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