Last week, a local Louisville-area daycare was closed indefinitely as the center faces allegations of multiple counts of first-degree child abuse and abuse cover-up.
Vanguard Academy, its owner, and a handful of employees are currently facing civil lawsuits for their alleged involvement in the abuse that is believed to have occurred at the hands of child caregiver Racheal Flannery. Two sets of parents filed a lawsuit in October after they discovered evidence indicating that their children had been among the several allegedly abused.
After an investigation into the accusations, The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Office of Inspector General made the decision that an “emergency suspension” of business was warranted, according to the Cabinet’s communications advisor, Brice Mitchell.
In September, Vanguard Academy employee Racheal Flannery, 24, was charged with first-degree abuse of children under the age of 12. Video played at her arrest citation showed the daycare worker handling children with intentional violence.
Evidence presented in the civil lawsuit further showed video footage of Flannery shoving a bottle into a child’s mouth, forcibly squeezing the child’s head, and dropping the child aggressively into a crib. There were repeated instances of violent handling, including shaking, swinging, and dropping children on the floor. Some of the children alleged to have been abused were infants under 6 months of age.
One family reported that daycare employees once contacted them and advised them to take their child to the hospital after their child returned home with bruises on the face and arm.
Flannery, who has posted bond and is currently on home incarceration awaiting trial, has been prohibited by a Jefferson County court from having any contact with the daycare center. Following Flannery’s arrest, Vanguard Academy administration circulated an email stating that the former staff member had been placed on an “indefinite leave of absence.”
Located in the northeast Louisville neighborhood of Norton Commons, Vanguard Academy was opened in 2008 as a facility to accommodate full and part-time care to students six weeks through elementary school. This is the first incident of its kind known to have occurred at the daycare center.
Thomas Law Offices advises and advocates for families who suffered a preventable incident of child injury or abuse in Louisville, KY. Please reach out to our office for a free consultation to discuss your legal options with an experienced attorney from our team.