Former Lancaster day care worker faces 6 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to children

Former Lancaster day care worker faces 6 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to children
(Source: Hawaii News Now/file)

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (Rock Hill Herald) - A former Lancaster County day care worker has been charged with misdemeanor cruelty to children involving four kids, officials said.

Stephanie Michelle Carnes, 53, of Lancaster, turned herself in Tuesday on six counts of cruelty to children, said Doug Barfield, spokesman for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies had been investigating since November after allegations surfaced about Carnes’ alleged actions at Buford Child Care on Rocky River Road, Barfield said.

The six charges are for six separate incidents, Barfield said.

Detectives reviewed videos from the day care and conducted interviews as part of the investigation. They received arrest warrants from a judge alleging there was improper hitting and pushing of four children, Barfield said. Two children were named as victims in two separate incidents, Barfield said.

No serious injuries were reported, Barfield said.

Carnes left employment at the day care at around the same time the allegations were made and deputies began an investigation, Barfield said.

“It is our understanding that the defendant no longer works there,” Barfield said Tuesday afternoon.

Cruelty to children is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum of 30 days in jail or a $200 fine for each conviction, South Carolina law shows.

The law defines cruelty to children as: “Whoever cruelly ill-treats, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or inflicts unnecessary pain or suffering upon a child or causes the same to be done, whether the person is the parent or guardian or has charge or custody of the child, for every offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Child care centers are regulated in South Carolina by the S.C. Department of Social Services, according to Barfield and the DSS website.

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