Waukesha daycare teacher charged with child abuse after allegedly snapping, holding baby face down in crib

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) — A Waukesha teacher has been charged with child abuse at a daycare center following the execution of a search warrant on Wednesday, September 14.

Heather Miller, 48, is charged with physical abuse of a child – intentionally causing bodily harm and endangering second-degree security.

According to a criminal complaint, officers spoke with a parent on August 29 about possible child abuse that occurred while their child was in the custody of Lawrence School staff. The parent said they learned from another teacher that their child had been abused in a class by head teacher Heather Miller.

Detectives learned that on August 17, another staff member saw Miller feeding a baby with medical needs at Lawrence School. Miller was allegedly overheard telling the child he was “physically gross” and “the way he eats is gross”. Later that day, the witness reported seeing Miller placing objects around the child’s crib in a way that would block the view of security cameras. The witness told detectives they then saw Miller lift the victim and pin him face down in the crib, using so much force that “the child’s whole body bounced and then fell back”. The witness said the child started crying and that Miller held the child against the mattress with such force that he had difficulty breathing. Detectives were told that Miller did this for about 30 seconds as the child made a wheezing sound.

The complaint says the witness immediately alerted staff at the front of the building and said something needed to be done immediately. The directors reportedly listened but did not respond to the room and said they would look into the matter. The witness reported that the child’s face was flushed, his body was hot and he seemed to act differently after this incident.

After nothing was done, the witness completed a written statement and gave it to the directors of the daycare, stating that if Miller continued to work at the daycare, she should be placed in this room to protect the children from ‘she. The witness says that she was not placed in the room and that on August 25 no action had been taken.

Investigators spoke to the victim’s mother who said the child was finally starting to feel like himself after being sick for several weeks. The mother was advised to take the victim to Children’s Wisconsin for an examination. The complaint says doctors found no injuries on that date, but reports say the child may have had previous injuries that healed.

The complaint goes on to say that a state licensing specialist visited the facility on September 2 and Miller denied harming the child. The daycare owner and directors reportedly said they were unaware of the behavior and denied staff came forward.

Miller was taken into custody after a search warrant was issued on September 14. Prosecutors said she denied harming the child and said she knew nothing about the investigation.

On Thursday, Miller appeared in court and posted $6,000 bond.

She is due back in court on September 19.


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