Sarah Jordan, a 31-year-old former day care teacher in Virginia, now faces up to 41 years behind bars in a bizarre child abuse case in which Jordan was accused of running what prosecutors described as a “baby fight club,” forcing toddlers as young as 16 months to brawl with each other for her own perverse entertainment.
Jordan was also accused of brutalizing the toddlers herself, even spraying the little children in the face with a water hose turned on full blast and stomping on their toes when the kids were barefoot, laughing as she did so.
The day care worker also forced the children to snack on Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, a brand of spicy cheese puffs flavored with peppers that have been linked to severe abdominal pain in small children — as well as to an alarming reddish color often mistaken for blood in children’s stool. The color is actually caused by the large amount of red food coloring in the Cheetos snack.
Jordan ran her reign of terror at Minnieland Academy at The Glen in Woodbridge, Virginia — one of 55 Minnieland locations in the state — for eight long months in 2013, until she was stopped by police after an anonymous phone tip came into the child protective services agency in Prince William County, Virginia, according to a report by WUSA TV in Washington D.C.
According to a civil lawsuit filed separately against Jordan by eight parents of children at the day care preschool, three other Minnieland employees witnessed the abuse and reported it to their supervisors at the center, only to wait and watch and no action was taken.
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Also accused in the case, former Minnieland day care worker Kierra Spriggs, who was 24 years old when the alleged horrific abuse took place. Spriggs faces a trial in February.
Chuck and Jackie Leopold, founders of Mimmieland Academy, said that the two women were fired, calling their actions “unacceptable.” Jordan was arrested three months after departing her job at Minnieland in August of 2013.
— Delia Gonçalves (@9NewsDelia) November 25, 2013
Jordan pleaded not guilty and has maintained her innocence throughout her arrest and trial. She reportedly displayed no emotion when the guilty verdicts came down on Wednesday. But parents of the children victimized by the former day care worker and her alleged accomplice were visibly relieved, hugging each other and breaking into tears, according to a Washington Post report.
The below video from the Newsy site contains further details of the disturbing “baby fight club” case.
Two other Minnieland employees testified against Jordan at her trial, saying that they witnessed the abuse, which also included Jordan hitting children between the ages of 16 months and two years with wooden toys and maracas, snapping them with rubber bands, and biting the kids’ fingers.
After one attack by Jordan, “She, the child, started screaming and ran and hit her head,” Minnieland employee Ruqia Qureshi testified.
Another employee, Desiree Edwards, said under oath that she saw Jordan “trip a child and laugh at her,” also witnessing Spriggs press a little girl’s lower lip into her bottom teeth. Edwards tried to stop the sickening torture, only to have Jordan intervene, saying, “She’ll be fine!”
Jordan also testified, denying on the stand that she abused the children at the center. She admitted spraying children with a water hose, but claiming she was only trying to “to get the children wet — like a sprinkler.”
Parents of the toddlers also testified at Jordan’s trial, saying that they saw disturbing changes in their children’s behavior during the period that the abuse was taking place, such as becoming withdrawn and refusing to take baths due to a sudden fear of water.
One father, Adam Smith, testified that his daughter “completely stopped talking” and subsequently became uncharacteristically violent.
“She would stomp her mom’s feet. She would run in and slap us for no apparent reason and start giggling,” the dad testified.
Sarah Jordan is scheduled for sentencing in May. A judge ordered that she remain in Prince William County jail until she is sentenced.
[Image via Prince William County Police]