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Milwaukee daycare teacher charged after infant allegedly beaten while unattended

Posted at 2:35 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 18:22:10-04

A Milwaukee daycare worker is facing a felony child neglect charge after an 8-month-old was badly beaten by another child while they were left unattended. 

A criminal complaint states that July 6, police received a report of a beaten infant at the Harvest Learning Center near Appleton Avenue and 60th Street. 

The complaint states Catherine Junior, 62 of Milwaukee left the child alone while an 11-year-old picked the baby boy up, dropped him and ripped out some of his hair.

The daycare owner contacted the infant’s mother, who said they told her they claimed her son had an “allergic reaction,” to something. 

When the mother arrived, she noticed a bite mark on her son’s arm, and he had bruising in both ears, linear marks on his shoulder, abrasions and bruising on the left side of his face and upper lip, a nosebleed, bleeding and swelling under his scalp along with the bite mark. 

The child was treated for his injuries at Children’s Hospital. 

Junior told police she left five children alone after the van dropped them off to get a diaper bag and to talk to the van driver for “three to five minutes.” 

Another 7-year-old child present at the daycare at the time of the incident said the 11-year-old “stomped on the baby” because they were upset because the teacher told them to put their toys away. 

Junior told police she was the only teacher at the daycare center that early in the morning. 

If convicted she faces six years in prison. 

Harvest Learning Center was open Monday.  The owner said Junior was her employee, but she had no further comment.

Harvest Learning Center has a 16 out of 40 on Youngstar, Wisconsin's rating system for childcare.