Woman arrested in connection to alleged assault investigation at east Louisville daycare

A woman has been arrested in connection to an incident under investigation by Louisville Metro Police at an east Louisville daycare.
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 3:53 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A woman has been arrested in connection to an incident under investigation by Louisville Metro Police at an east Louisville daycare.

Racheal Flannery, 24, was arrested by LMPD’s Office of Sexual and Physical Abuse Investigations in relation to an incident which occurred at Vanguard Academy on Dayflower Street.

Flannery was charged with three counts of criminal abuse of a victim under 12 years old.

According to an arrest report, Flannery was observed on security camera intentionally and violently handling a six-month-old. Police claimed Flannery placed victims in a situation “that may cause victims serious physical injury or cruel punishment.”

In another report, Flannery was said to have caused serious physical injury to a seven-month-old child. In surveillance footage reviewed by police, Flannery is said to have repeatedly shoved a bottle into the child’s mouth while she was feeding the child.

The report states Flannery stood up and forcefully put the child back in the crib and walked away.

A short time later, Flannery is said to have returned and grabbed the victim’s arms and forcibly adjusted the child. Flannery is then seen in the video attempting to feed the child again, forcibly placing the bottle in the victim’s mouth.

According to the report, the victim’s head is seen shaking in the video. The victim was brought to Flannery’s chest and video shows Flannery beginning to squeeze the victim.

As the suspect got out of her chair, she is seen in the video intentionally dropping the child on the floor and walking away.

Flannery is later seen in the video coming back to pick the child up and aggressively place the child back in the crib.

The child was transported to Norton Children’s Hospital, where doctors said the child sustained a left facial cheek bruise, a bruise on the left upper arm and an abrasion on the lip.

Police confirmed an investigation was underway on Thursday night. Reports claimed a child had been assaulted at the location.

Vanguard Academy sent an email to parents and guardians stating there was “an apparent incident” at the daycare that had been reported to authorities.

Attorney Alex White, representing one of the Vanguard victim’s family, released a statement on Friday afternoon:

“We can confirm that one of the members of our office’s family was a victim in what Vanguard Academy described as “an apparent incident.” At this time our only concern is the well-being of their child. Due to over-night hospitalization the day of the attack and the severe emotional distress their family is experiencing, they are exhausted but relieved that they still have their child to hold. For the sake of privacy in this difficult time, the family wishes to remain anonymous for now.

Unfortunately, we feel that information has been slow and incomplete coming from the daycare facility and therefore we still have more questions than answers about exactly what happened, why it happened and how it was possible for something like this to happen. We are stunned that Vanguard’s position is that the employee has been placed on an “indefinite leave of absence” and not immediately terminated. We will come together to support our team member’s family in their immediate need and take fierce action in the future if justice so requires.”

WAVE News also talked to a woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, who removed her child from Vanguard Academy after Thursday’s allegations surfaced.

”He had multiple, I guess, busted lips at day care,” the woman said. “And I understand, because he’s a toddler he is going to fall. But one time he had come home with a busted lip, but he actually had a blistered gum as well that was all purple and they did not document that. And I had mentioned that to the director and I never heard back from them.”

The woman said those incidents happened within a span of roughly six weeks. She was already weary of what was happening at the daycare, but Thursday’s allegations confirmed her suspicions.

”My kid’s a toddler,” she said. “He’s going to trip and fall. He’s very active and he likes to get into things that he shouldn’t. And so, I just assumed he’s going to come home with some bruises, but when you hear of something else horrifying happening, then that’s kind of the ... you kind of take a step back and say, well maybe these things shouldn’t have happened either.”

WAVE News also went to Vanguard Academy Friday afternoon and spoke to the director in person. She told WAVE News she had no comment on the matter.