Cherokee County Daycare Employee Arrested on Charges of Child Abuse

A daycare worker has been apprehended on charges of child abuse, which is a grave allegation of distressing events that have shocked the community of Cherokee County. The charges leveled against Ashley Marie O’Connor, a 28-year-old Kennesaw resident, provide a solemn narrative of child maltreatment within a setting designed to ensure their safety.

After being detained on Thursday, O’Connor was formally charged with two felonies—aggravated assault by strangulation and maltreatment to juveniles.She was employed at The Sunshine House, a facility situated on Wiley Bridge Road that specializes in the early education and caring of children in the Woodstock region of southeast Cherokee.

The charges arise from severe allegations that were elaborated upon in the arrest warrant that the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office issued. The complaint asserts that O’Connor was responsible for multiple instances of maltreatment towards a two-year-old infant entrusted to her care. The documented behaviors consist of forcibly draping a blanket over the child’s nostrils and mouth, dumping the child onto his head, dragging him across the floor by the neck, pinning him down with her entire body weight, violently swaying his head, and striking the child in the face. These purported behaviors not only violate the confidence bestowed upon childcare providers but also give rise to significant apprehensions regarding the physical and emotional welfare of the child.

The alarming behaviors were purportedly recorded by the daycare’s surveillance cameras in the afternoon of March 13, prompting the establishment’s administration to take immediate action. The Sunshine House exhibited a resolute dedication to safeguarding children in light of the allegations, placing particular emphasis on the gravity with which they handle such occurrences. A spokesperson for The Sunshine House, Megan Singleton, expressed the organization’s position and outlined the prompt actions that were taken subsequent to the exposure of the footage. These actions included informing the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, Bright from the Start, and the parents of the child in question, in adherence to both state regulations and company policies.

O’Connor’s employment was promptly terminated subsequent to the investigation into the incident, thereby prohibiting any additional interactions with minors under the care of the facility. Additionally, prior to O’Connor’s employment, The Sunshine House confirmed that all hiring procedures were adhered to, which included conducting thorough criminal background checks.

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O’Connor was subsequently released on a $15,000 surety after being processed into the Cherokee County jail subsequent to her apprehension. The aforementioned case has ignited a more extensive discourse regarding the supervision of childcare establishments and the protocols implemented to safeguard the most youthful and susceptible individuals in the community.

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