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Colorado Child Care Workers Face Trial Over Pants Pulling By Boy, 5

Two Colorado child care workers will go on trial in June for presiding over a day care center where a 5-year-old pulled down a 3-year-old's pants. Amy Lovato and Roberta Rodriguez of The Schoolhouse day care center in Poncha Springs face criminal charges for not reporting this incident to the authorities quickly enough, and for putting the children in danger, reports Reason. "Let this fact not be obscured: We are here because one preschooler pulled down another preschooler's pants," Jason Flores-Williams, Lovato's attorney, told Judge Brian Green, asking him to dismiss the charges. Flores-Williams said these charges "criminalize preschool behavior by turning a 5-year-old into a deviant and a 3-year-old into a victim for acts that are neither sexual, abusive, criminal, negligent, or against any reasonable person or community standard."

Green denied the defendants' motion. "This is the perfect case for the jury to hear," he told a courtroom packed with school parents who came to support Lovato and Rodriguez. The attendees expressed their feelings so loudly—sighing and groaning with exasperation—that the judge warned them to be quiet. "I understand the great importance to the community, but I don't want to be sidelined or distracted," he said. No one disputes that on January 16, Lovato was filling in as a classroom teacher because the center was short-staffed. When one of the kids wet their pants, Lovato left the classroom for a few minutes to clean the kid and deposit the wet clothes in the laundry. When she returned, she saw the 5-year-old "crouched over" a 3-year-old, who told Lovato that the boy had tried to pull her pants down and touch her butt. The next day, when Lovato went into the center's bathroom, she found three kids, including a girl with her pants down and the same boy, who was touching her butt. Authorities shut down the center midday on January 24, calling parents to come pick up their kids. Terrified moms and dads raced over to find six armed deputies and a slew of cop cars. The potential wrongdoing seems to involve not reporting the incidents immediately enough—they were officially reported to the authorities three days later—and leaving the kids unsupervised for the briefest of moments.


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