2 women convicted for Prattville daycare child abuse; trial set for third

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 12:16 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:23 PM CST
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PRATTVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Two of the three women indicted on child abuse charges at a Prattville daycare have been found guilty.

According to Autauga County District Attorney C J Robinson, defendants Alice Sorrells and Leah Livingston were each found guilty on two counts of child abuse and five counts of failure to report child abuse after the jury deliberated for more than five hours.

“For us, the message is clear to those families and those children; we heard you, and the jury heard you, and these women are going to have to pay for what they did,” Robinson said.

The convictions come months after a grand jury indictment. Sorrells and Livingston were accused of physically abusing seven children, all ranging in age between 11 and 15 months, who were enrolled for daycare service at Journey Church of the River Region, located in Prattville.

Investigators said video evidence showed the abuse involved shoving and hitting, among other physical violence. The DA’s office previously said the abuse was physical, not sexual, but called the abuse “bone-chilling.”

“I have no desire, as a district attorney, to dictate how parents discipline children, I’m not looking to come into your house and tell you that you can or can’t spank a child, that’s not my place. But this was not discipline, these children were a year old. And the fact that they didn’t take a nap quick enough is not justification to walk over and start striking them, shove them, or grab their head and shove it down into a mattress. That’s not discipline. And to us. That’s abuse,” Robinson added.

Bond was revoked for both women immediately following the verdicts.

Sorrells and Livingston face sentencing of between one and 10 years in prison for the Class C felony child abuse convictions. The failure to report convictions, which are misdemeanors, can include fines and jail terms of up to six months. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Susan Baker, the third defendant, is set to go on trial on Feb. 3, 2023.

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