Day Care Center denies child abuse - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Day Care Center denies child abuse

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December 10, 2003

Bainbridge - Last week, a woman complained that her son was tied up and put into a room by himself at the Mother Goose daycare, but the daycare owner says it's a lie.

Signs of happy children are everywhere, in flowers, smiley faces, and construction paper Santa's. But Rosetta Jones claims this is where her 3-year old son was abused. His mouth taped and his hands tied behind his back.

Day care owner Karen Sheffield says that's not true. "We cannot touch a child in anyway," says Sheffield. "We cannot jerk them, we cannot put them in a room by themselves. We cannot pull their hair, we cannot pinch them, we can't do anything."

But she did fire Candy Harvey and Christy Harrell, the two women who were caring for the child, and her lawyers have conducted their own investigation to find out what happened.

"Our conclusion is that it did not happen," says Attorney Thomas Brantley. "This child was not taped. This child was not the victim of child cruelty, it just never happened."

Clara Gayle's children attend at mother Goose. She says she doesn't believe a child was abused. Gayle says, "From the beginning, I told her I don't believe it. I can't see Candace doing anything like that. Candace loves kids and she wouldn't do anything like that."

And according to District Attorney Brown Moseley, the facts in the case aren't strong enough to support criminal charges.

Rosetta Jones, the child's mother, initially contacted WALB NEWS 10 and told us her son had been abused at the day care center. However, she is now declining to comment on the case. Her attorney, Jim Finklestein's only comment was, "Cases need to be tried in court."

posted at 5:30 PM by karen.collier@walb.com