PEVELY — A worker at a church day care center near Pevely accused of abusing at least four children in 2017 continued to work there until January because her mother — the day care’s director — failed to report the abuse claims to the state, prosecutors said.
The day care director, Kimberly A. Boyd, 55, and daughter Kaileen R. Boyd, 24, both of Hillsboro, now are each facing several felony charges of child abuse and neglect.
Charges filed in the past week in Jefferson County Circuit Court say employees of Victory Church day care reported Kaileen Boyd abusing four different 1-year-olds from July to September 2017.
Kimberly and Kaileen Boyd live in the 100 block of Shelburne Court in Hillsboro, court documents show. Neither could be reached for comment Wednesday.
On Friday, their lawyer Talmage Newton IV said the Boyds deny any wrongdoing. He said the cases "involve allegations which are nearly three years old and which back in 2017 were never reported to police by the supposed witness."
Witnesses claimed Kaileen Boyd twisted a boy’s leg, grabbed another boy by the throat, cupped her hand over a girl’s mouth to stop her from crying, shook her when she wouldn’t go to sleep, and held another boy against a wall by his neck and torso while yelling at him.
Day care employees reported their observations to Kimberly Boyd, charges said. Kimberly Boyd “failed to report the incidents to the Division of Family Services and allowed Kaileen Boyd to continue to work with the children until January 2020.”
Prosecutors said in court documents that Kimberly Boyd was required to report abuse claims to state authorities but failed to do so. Prosecutors also noted another abuse claim this year that Kimberly Boyd failed to report.
Victory Church’s day care is exempt from state licensing requirements and has a capacity of 156 children ranging from six weeks to 12 years old, according to the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services.
The department's database of investigated complaints includes a March 2 report substantiating abuse claims against Kaileen Boyd and at least one other caregiver. The report concluded "Kaili Boyd has been known to hold children down by their necks/throat." The report also said the day care's staff reported Feb. 28 that she and Kimberly Boyd no longer work there.
According to the non-denominational Christian church’s website, its day care “is an extension of the home for the purpose of educating the whole child-spirit, mind and body. We believe children are a gift from God and should be provided a place where they feel loved and secure when away from home. Our staff is committed to providing that kind of environment, nurturing each child according to his or her needs.”