Daycare worker pleads guilty to unlawful neglect of a child - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Daycare worker pleads guilty to unlawful neglect of a child

Mary Lynn Boggs (Source: MBPD) Mary Lynn Boggs (Source: MBPD)
A daycare worker stood before a judge and pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful neglect of a child, Monday. (Source: Amy Lipman). A daycare worker stood before a judge and pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful neglect of a child, Monday. (Source: Amy Lipman).
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A daycare worker stood before a judge and pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful conduct toward a child Monday.

A judge gave Mary Lynn Boggs one year probation. She could've faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each count. Her lawyer said that Boggs was happy with the sentence. However, families of the victims were not.

"How she just basically got a slap on the wrist with probation, it just blows my mind," said Vanessa Goff, whose daughter was a victim. "I don't understand it."

In 2012, Boggs faced charges after an investigation into parent complaints at the Teaching and Learning Center daycare at Ocean View Baptist Church. Boggs faced three felony counts of unlawful neglect of a child.  

"The moment I found out, I broke down and cried because that's my baby," Goff said. "I never wanted to put her in childcare but sometimes you have to do certain things."

The judge cited Boggs' otherwise clean record with the law as well as the fact that no children were harmed physically and other childcare workers didn't step in to intervene, which the judge said shows the degree of neglect.

One family talked to the judge about how their daughter developed post-traumatic stress disorder after the incidents.

"It might be something she outgrows or it might be something she never outgrows, but I think she has been affected," said Wanda Rabon, the grandmother of a victim. "Not physically, mentally."

In addition to the probation, Boggs will have to be on a child abuse registry.

Boggs and her attorney declined interviews Monday. Both Ocean View Baptist Church and its childcare center said they had no comment about the guilty plea.

A press release issued by the Myrtle Beach Police Department says that investigation began on Friday, Sept. 21, surrounding allegation of unlawful conduct toward the children in the classroom that cared for children around the age of one year old.

Warrants obtained to dig deeper into those allegations revealed evidence that led police to charge Boggs with three counts of unlawful conduct towards a child.

The press release states that Boggs is accused of committing the crimes between August 31 and Sept. 20 of 2012. 

According to police reports, a concerned parent filed a report with Myrtle Beach Police saying that a teacher was allegedly harming his daughter. The report says there was excessive force used during nap time. Police are investigating allegations that several students were similarly treated in the classroom Boggs was in charge of.

Three days after the police report was filed, the Teaching-Learning Center sent letters to parents saying the school was investigating an incident. The letter also says Brenda Thomas, the director, was resigning. That resignation was accepted and was effective immediately.

Boggs turned herself in to authorities and had a bond hearing, receiving a total bond of $150,000.

Former employees told WMBF News that Boggs has been an employee at that daycare for over 20 years and they were shocked when they heard the allegations. They say they never thought Boggs would harm a child. They also said there are cameras all over the day care, which they thought were in place to prevent an incident like this.

Everett Douglas, the Missional Pastor at Ocean View Baptist Church, sent this statement to WMBF News:

"Our primary concern is and always has been the safety and health of the children in our care at Ocean View Teaching Learning Center.  The necessary agencies and individuals have been notified and this matter is under investigation.  The teacher is no longer employed with Ocean View Teaching Learning Center.  It is not appropriate to comment further with this matter under investigation."

Psychologists say there are many warning signs in your child's behavior that they may be suffering abuse when not under your supervision. Some children will go back to early child-like behaviors, such as sucking their thumbs or wetting the bed. Many children will take it out on their dolls, reflecting the abuse they are experiencing on to their toys.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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