In February, a child who attended Little Blessings Daycare in Sioux Falls, South Dakota told his parents that he was being abused during nap time.
As the Argus Leader reports, the child’s parents notified the Department of Social Services, who referred the case to authorities. An investigation was opened, and police began interviewing parents and reviewing surveillance video from February 14 to February 23.
Police spokesman Sam Clemens said that during the interviews, many parents told detectives that their children often told them they didn’t like nap time.
And according to KDLT, footage showed two employees, on multiple occasions, “picking up the children and slamming them to the ground, stepping on them, and banging their heads around during nap time.”KSFY
Clemens said in a news conference that even the slightest of movement from a child could result in the abuse:
“The video was pretty clear, but it was tough to figure out why this took place. All of it seemed to be happening really just kind of because.”
He said that although the abuse did not take place every day, the majority of the daycare’s students were victimized.
According to the Argus Leader, none of the victims needed medical assistance, but some of the children did complain of back pain and headaches.
Following the month-long investigation, 31-year-old Teresa Gallagher and 22-year-old Kenedi Wendt were arrested on March 30 and charged with 25 counts of abuse or cruelty to a minor. They are both being held on a $25,000 cash bond.
Most of the children who were witnessed being abused were three to four years of age.