Rainbow Child Care worker used 'cruel, harsh, unusual or extreme techniques,' state report says

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jun 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-20 14:03:28-04

PIERCE TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A former employee used "cruel, harsh, unusual or extreme techniques" on children while she worked at a Clermont County day care center, according to a state investigation.

That same investigation found she shouldn't be allowed to work there anymore.

The case is the latest involving Rainbow Child Care, a company with locations around the Midwest. The WCPO I-Team learned about the recent allegations when one child's mother, Jessica Wilson, contacted us; she'd read our prior reporting on problems at Rainbow facilities in Northern Kentucky.

Wilson's son went to a Rainbow Child Care location on Appomattox Drive in Pierce Township. According to a police report, Wilson's 5-year-old son told her a teacher had made dark-red marks on his arms and neck May 2.

Wilson told police Rainbow called her to claim her son had been scratching himself all day.

She provided photographs she said she took when she picked him up from the center:

The state of Ohio investigated the incident a week later.

A report the I-Team obtained from Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services notes the allegation that "a staff member inappropriately disciplined a child."

Findings of that investigation show a staff member had used "inappropriate" "cruel, harsh, unusual or extreme techniques" to manage children's behavior. Findings of a second allegation show a "child care staff member had abused, endangered, or neglected a child .... The individual needs to be released from employment immediately."

Wilson initially agreed to an interview but later said her attorney, Brian Goldwasser, advised against it. He provided a statement on her behalf:

"No parent should have to worry about entrusting their child to a daycare and we are very pleased that the prosecutor and police department have taken seriously this unfortunate situation."

The Clermont County Prosecutor's Office is reviewing possible misdemeanor charges of child endangerment against the employee. The I-Team is not naming her until she's officially charged.

A statement from Rainbow's corporate offices in Michigan claimed the employee had been fired as soon as management became aware of the alleged abuse.

"We have cooperated fully with the authorities during their investigation and will continue to work openly with all appropriate authorities and agencies," the statement reads. "Rainbow takes great care in developing a secure environment at our centers, including following all state and federal guidelines with regard to our hiring practices and procedures, as well as conducting comprehensive background checks on all employees before they are hired."

Wilson's case isn't the first time the I-Team has uncovered problems with Rainbow Child Care facilities in the Tri-State.

In February 2017, we first reported nearly half of the 13 locations in Northern Kentucky were at risk of losing their licenses because of violations. Those came to light after police charged Anne Ogonek, a former work at Rainbow's Edgewood facility, with criminal abuse. According to a police report, surveillance video showed she yanked children by their arms and covered a 14-month-old boy's face with a blanket to make him sleep.

Rainbow fired Ogonek, and she pleaded guilty at the end of last year.

The company also complied with state sanctions, and its 13 Northern Kentucky centers remain licensed. 

Ohio report on Pierce Twp Rainbow Child Care by WCPO Web Team on Scribd