Tulsa Child Care Worker On Administrative Leave After Abuse Allegation

Monday, November 8th 2010, 5:57 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Tulsa child care worker is on administrative leave while police investigate an allegation of abuse of a 19-month old girl.

Officers said it happened at John Knox Child Development Center in Midtown Tulsa.

Parents of the center received a disturbing email late Friday night. It alerted them to allegations of abuse involving one of the center's teachers.

"What we do know is that we have a 19-month old little girl that sustained some injuries that we believe at this point are sexual in nature," said Tulsa Police Officer Jason Willingham.

Officers say they got involved because a local hospital reported the case. The toddler suffered the injury last Thursday, November 4, 2010.

"This young, it's very difficult," Officer Willingham said. "They don't have a voice. They can't speak. They can't say what's going on."

Investigators say the time line indicates the little girl was injured at the child care center. And they say a female John Knox child care worker is a person of interest in the case.

In a statement posted on the center's website, officials say they made a report to DHS and at the agency's request, they put the employee on administrative leave, which they call routine.

It goes on to say "it would be premature to say anything further without tainting the ongoing investigation."

News On 6 reporter Ashli Sims talked to an attorney representing John Knox Presbyterian. He said that teacher has been with the facility for 13 months. He also said they conduct criminal background checks on all employees.

Police believe there is only one little girl involved, but they are still investigating.

"It's something we need to get to the bottom of," Officer Willingham said. "We need to find out for sure and have a definitive answer. But right now, we have no indicators to believe that there was anything, any other victims."

But a parent told News On 6 that this same teacher was accused of abusing a child at a different day care. Police confirmed there is a history, but can't give details at this time.

No arrests have been made.

John Knox's attorney says the longtime child care center has a good reputation.

News On 6 reporter Ashli Sims did check with DHS and John Knox does not have any complaints or violations on file.