Preschool teacher accused of abusing student in Forest Hill
4:56 PM, Jan 9, 2014
6:31 AM, Jan 10, 2014
When the parents of a 3-year old girl who attends the Celebree Learning Center on Rock Spring Road in Forest Hill asked about the marks on her face, she blamed it on her teacher, claiming 24-year-old Kaitlin Marie Krause had grabbed her face.
Krause, in turn, told her supervisors that she had accidently scratched the child.
Video tape from that classroom ultimately clarified who was telling the truth.
"The suspect was standing next to the victim and then the suspect reached out and grabbed the victim, pushed her into a chair, had apparently grabbed her face and at some point had knocked her out of the chair to the floor," said Edward Hopkins, spokesman of the Harford County Sheriff's Office.
An incident of this kind can be bad for business, and Celebree was quick to report the incident and to outline the steps it had taken in hiring the teacher in the first place.
"All of our teachers are required to go through a local background check as well as an FBI background check and part of that includes a Child Protective Services background, which shows that they haven't had any charges or any incidents of child abuse, child neglect, mis-supervision (sic) of a child," said Lisa Henkel, Celebree's Vice President of Corporate Development, "So this teacher had fulfilled all of those requirements before being placed in a classroom."
Krause now faces charges of child abuse, assault and neglect, which in the case of a conviction, could carry a penalty of up to 30 years in prison.
She's already been released from the detention center on $5,000 bail.
Meanwhile, the center is assuring its parents that this was an isolated incident.
Henkel said they believe no other child has been allegedly abused by Krause.
"We have reviewed the records of that classroom, and it does seem odd that it was one child, but there was no other evidence of any injury," Henkel said.
The family of that 3-year old has since withdrawn her from the learning center.
According to charging documents, the victim received three distinct gouge marks to her cheek, but did not require hospitalization for her injuries.