A former Wisconsin day care worker who broke a toddler boy’s leg by throwing him on the ground has been sentenced to jail.
According to the Duluth News Tribune, Ashley Garrity, 27, pleaded no contest in late June to felony reckless child abuse causing harm. This week, St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Michael Waterman sentenced the woman to eight months in jail and three years on probation.
Video from February 24, 2016, captured Garrity slamming a 14-month-old on the floor and the toddler writhing in pain as other children gather around him. The child suffered a fractured leg as a result of the incident, according to the newspaper.
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) ultimately fined Bear Buddies Educational Resources for committing actions that are “physically painful, discomforting, dangerous or potentially injurious” and for failing to report the violent ordeal to Human Services, the Pierce County Herald reported.
Assistant St. Croix County District Attorney Alexis McKinley said that Garrity handled other children in her care like “rag dolls.”
The 27-year-old day care worker told an officer that they were short-staffed on the day in question and that her boss reprimanded her for how she treated the children.
Judge Waterman said he was prepared to sentence Garrity to the maximum sentence of more than three years in prison but a note of compassion from the victim’s family convinced him to hand down a more lenient sentence.
Defense attorney Julie Weber called the former day care employee “the most remorseful client” she’s represented in her 20-year career.
“Never in my worst nightmare would I think I would be responsible for so much earth-shattering pain,” Garrity said while holding back tears. “I regret that day with every fiber of my being.”
As part of her probation, Garrity is banned from working with children.
“Frankly, I was speechless … [it was] appalling the way you handled those children,” Judge Michael Waterman said. “I hope that after today this chapter of everyone’s life is closed…and everyone starts to heal.”
[Featured Image: St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office ]