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Home Based Child Care Providers Charged with Abuse of Toddler

At the Growing Well Child Care Center in Raleigh, NC, two women who provide day care services have been accused of abusing a 4-year-old boy enrolled in their program.

The state-accredited day care owned by Shirley Leary Staten is run out of her home. She and Nina Staton Lassiter, the director of the business, share the responsibility of caring for and overseeing the children.

One of the services provided at Growing Well is supplying meals for the youngsters in their care. On October 4, Staten is said to have force-fed a 4-year-old child rice and water causing chronic damage to him in the form of an eating affliction. In addition she allegedly slapped and pushed him onto the floor.

On September 15, 33-year-old Lassiter was accused of yanking the child around “and slamming him into a chair,” according to a warrant. She is also said to have pushed the boy.

The first complaint about the purported abuse at the day care center was received on November 7 by the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. The Department of Health and Human Services withheld comment on the ongoing investigation, but reported that they have issued a summary suspension of the business license to Growing Well and required that they close their child care by the end of the day on Friday.

In the early morning hours on Friday 69-year-old Staten turned herself in to the detention center in Wake County. She has been charged with one felony count of intentional child abuse causing serious injury and one misdemeanor charge of child abuse. She is being held in Wake County jail on $25,000 bail, awaiting her first court appearance on Monday.

Lassiter was taken into custody at her home on Thursday night and faces two misdemeanor charges of child abuse. She paid her ordered bond of $2,500 and was released pending a December 8 court date.

If you or someone you love is suspected of child abuse, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.