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Parents outraged after military child care abuse allegations

Tuesday - 3/18/2014, 9:58am  ET

WASHINGTON -- Parents want answers after a new allegation of child abuse at the military's largest child-care center.

"We're pretty much outraged that we're once again the last ones to know something has happened," says a parent.

The mother doesn't want to give her name since she still has a child at the Child Development Center at Joint Base Myer/Henderson Hall, in Arlington.

Federal authorities have charged Va Nessa Taylor, a child-care provider at the center, with abuse. Taylor is from Temple Hills, Md., and was removed from working at the center. If convicted, she could spend a year in jail and face a $100,000 fine.

Investigators reviewed surveillance video that shows Taylor assaulting four toddlers by hitting and pushing them, according to a Department of Justice news release.

The abuse, reported late in January, is just the latest in a saga of abuse at the center in the past two years.

More than a year ago, alleged abuse led to the center losing its accreditation, the Army Times reports. And in 2012, two child-care workers at the center were charged with abuse, according to the Washington Examiner. The two were later convicted and sentenced.

At least 31 people were suspended from two Army day care centers at Fort Myer, Va., after officials scrutinized their backgrounds and found a range of criminal convictions. The child-abuse charges prompted the background checks.

The mother with whom WTOP spoke says she doesn't understand why no one in a leadership position has been held accountable for the continuing problem at the center.

"The workers themselves, of course, were removed. But most of the leadership is still in place," she says.

The base commander is expected to meet with parents at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Spates Community Club, 214 McNair Rd. in Fort Myer, Va.

WTOP reached out to the base commander, but had not received a response by the time of publication. Federal offices were closed Monday.

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