A Virginia woman was found guilty Wednesday of running a “baby fight club” out of the day care center where she worked, encouraging children as young as 1 and 2-years-old to fight each other for her amusement, WTSP (Tampa) is reporting.
Sarah Jordan, 31, of Woodbridge, Virginia, faces up to 41 years in prison for her actions over an eight-month period in 2013 when she worked at Minnieland Academy Day Care, about 35 miles from Washington, D.C.
Prosecutors said that Jordan, along with her accomplice, then-fellow employee Kierra Spriggs, routinely tortured babies and toddlers, mentally and physically, for their own amusement.
— ABC7News (@ABC7News) January 11, 2016
Among multiple other incidents of child abuse, prosecutors said that Jordan called on girl “ugly” and fed other kids Flaming Hot Cheetos. She and her associate would step on kids’ toes and trip them for laughs. Kids who were afraid of water were sprayed in the face with a hose.
But the most damning indictment against Jordan and her coworker was the “baby fight club,” where she would pit the children against each other and make them fight.
Parent Blake Buckner said his son, who was in Jordan’s care, was one of the children forced to participate in the “fight club.”
“The teacher was making him the class bully made to fight. It was hard to hold back tears, emotional, it was very deep. It p****d me off. She knows what she did. Justice has prevailed.”
The abuse came to light after parents noticed that their children would start acting out in strange ways. Some became terrified of water. Others began mimicking behavior they learned in Jordan’s classroom, such as tripping other kids and stepping on their toes. Still others became violent with other children outside of day care.
Eventually, Jordan and her “baby fight club” were brought to the attention of Virginia’s state social services agencies, who helped investigate her and led to her having criminal charges brought against her.
During her three-day bench trial, Jordan claimed that she only sprayed the children with a hose — gently and not on full-blast, as prosecutors alleged — was that it was just regular water play and she wasn’t trying to hurt them. She also denied the other allegations against her, saying that they were brought on my employees who disliked her and made up the allegations out of revenge for workplace disputes with her, according to Virginia Lawyers Daily.
The judge dismissed 20 of the charges against Jordan, saying prosecutors failed to prove that the alleged crimes took place before Virginia’s statute of limitations. She was found not guilty on four other counts, according to CBS News, and found guilty of 13 remaining felony counts. If she’s given the maximum sentence on all counts, she faces up to 41 years in prison.
The parents whose children were victimized by Jordan and her accomplice are considering filing a class-action lawsuit against the day care center, according to their attorney, James McCoart, who issued a statement.
“Not only were the actions and behavior of this Minnieland employee cruel and traumatizing it was outrageous criminal behavior on our communities most vulnerable and innocent. To hear sworn testimony by three employees of Minnieland that each on separate occasions reported this abuse to the Minnieland supervisor or director and then, and only then it was an anonymous phone call to child protective services that started this criminal investigation is incomprehensible. we will never know how much abuse and trauma could have been spared these children had Minnieland reacted to employees concern.”
Sarah Jordan is scheduled to be sentenced for her “baby fight club” and other crimes in May.
[Image via Prince William County Police Department/WTSP]