Pierre daycare provider accused of sexual and physical abuse
An at home daycare provider in Pierre is “temporarily closed” after allegations of sexual and physical abuse arose from it.
PIERRE, S.D. - A Pierre area daycare is being accused of negligence, after potential physical and sexual abuse against children at the facility.
A post on Facebook went viral in the Pierre area over the last several days, laying out the alleged abuse of several toddler aged children at the daycare.
The post alleges that the in-home daycare provider, a person not certified by the state or the city, allowed their young son to both sexually and physically abuse children in the daycare, and threatened kids when asked about it.
A letter from the Hughes County State’s Attorney appears to confirm the allegations. The letter, written to one of the alleged victim’s parents by a Victim Witness Advocate, says in part that “State’s Attorney Jessica LaMie reviewed the reports she received from the Hughes County Sheriff’s Office and the South Dakota Division of Investigation. State’s Attorney LaMie has determined that no charges will be filed in this matter due to SD Codified Law 22-3-1 which excludes the prosecution of minors under the age of 10.”
When contacted Tuesday, LaMie did not wish to comment further on the matter.
Several parents with children who attended the daycare confirmed the allegations, but asked not to be named. Many said they intended to push legal action forward, both criminal and civil.
On Facebook, one parent wrote that her child was in counseling as a result of their treatment at the daycare in question, and had nightmares about their experience.
But a lack of clarity surrounds where the charges now stand. The Hughes County Sheriff redirected Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory to the Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI), which is a part of the Attorney General’s office.
But a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office referred questions about the issue back to the State’s Attorney.
“At this juncture the matter is in the hands of State’s Attorney Jessica LaMie and all inquiries need to go through her office,” a spokesperson for the office said.
Advocacy groups warn that these sorts of things can happen to anyone, especially such young children. Beyond physical signs of abuse, there are other things to keep an eye out for.
“Sometimes, children will regress,” explained LeToy Lunderman, Co-Director of the SD Coalition Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence. “Meaning a three year old will go back to acting like a baby, wanting a bottle, bed wetting. Another potential sign is issues with avoiding clothing, for shower or bath time, or even just changing into pajamas.”
A number associated with the daycare provider in question was “temporary disabled,” when dialed Tuesday. Other attempts to reach the provider in question were unsuccessful.
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