SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Two former day care employees face felony charges after police say surveillance video caught them repeatedly abusing youngsters during nap time at a Sioux Falls-area daycare.
Teresa Gallagher, age 31, and 22-year-old Kenedi Wendt were both arrested on 25 counts of abuse or cruelty to a minor. Both were ordered held on a $25,000 cash bond.
Investigators say the case came to light February 26, when a parent told police that their child made a comment about being abused by an employee at Little Blessings Daycare in Sioux Falls. The case was referred to the Department of Social Services who then talked to the daycare’s supervisor. The daycare reviewed surveillance video and immediately fired Gallagher and Wendt.
Police say they obtained the surveillance video and began reviewing it for the dates between February 14 and 23. During that time detectives say they witnessed the defendants picking up children and slamming them to the ground, stepping on them, and banging their heads around during nap time on multiple occasions. Authorities say most of the three to four-year-olds in the room were targeted.
Police obtained an arrest warrant for both Gallagher and Wendt on Friday, March 30, and took them into custody without incident. Both are expected to make their initial appearances in court Tuesday.