Three church day care workers face dozens of abuse counts, some videoed, police say

Published 9:32 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Three former workers at a church day care center in central Alabama have been indicted on more than three dozen charges of abusing children ages 2 and younger, some of whom were harmed on video, authorities said Tuesday.

A special grand jury returned charges after watching security videos that showed children being hit, kicked and punched, according to court records and prosecutor C.J. Robinson, who spoke at a news conference.

“When you have videos in crimes of this nature, it leaves very little doubt,” he said.

The 44 total charges against Susan Baker of Prattville, Leah Livingston of Wetumpka and Alicia Sorrells of Deatsville stem from their work at a day care operated by Journey Church of the River Region, Robinson said. All three women were arrested earlier this month.

Each person was indicted on charges of child abuse and failure to report child abuse, officials said.

An attorney for Sorrells said she will be acquitted once jurors consider the evidence, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. Livingston doesn’t have an attorney to speak on her behalf, and a lawyer for Baker wasn’t immediately available.

Church leaders have cooperated in the investigation, Robinson said.