WALLINGFORD, Conn. — The owner of a home day care in Wallingford and her partner were recently arrested on risk of injury to children charges, according to police.
Brenda Fornal, 61, and her boyfriend, 66-year-old Grant Freer, turned themselves in and they were arrested Tuesday, police said.
The investigation started after the Department of Children and Families (DCF) received a report on Aug. 28, which was then sent over to the Wallingford Police Department.
The investigation revealed that Fornal's day care, located at her home on Ridgetop Road, had nine children who were victims of verbal and physical abuse.
"The arrests announced today by the Wallingford Police Department reinforce that protecting children in all settings - family, childcare, schools, facilities and other locations takes diligent and persistent efforts," DCF said in a statement.
An investigation by the Office of Early Childhood back in August found Fornal had threatened and humiliated a child for wetting herself and used vullgar language, slapped a child on multiple occaisons, and put underwear in a child's mouth among several other violations.
Neighbors were upset to hear this had been happening so close to home.
"This is such a nice neighborhood never knew something like this would ever happen here. It's crazy," said David Warner of Wallingford.
The OEC said, "When the CT Office of Early Childhood was informed of the serious allegations, the agency took immediate action to summarily (i.e., immediately) suspend her license. In lieu of participating in the adjudicatory suspension proceeding, the family child care provider surrendered her license."
Fornal voluntarily surrendered her license on September 6th instead of going through with a suspension proceeding.
She was charged with nine counts of risk of injury to a child, voyeurism with malice, seven counts of assault, two counts of threatening, and sexual assault.
Freer was charged with conspiracy to commit risk of injury to a child.
Fornal's bond was set to $125,000, while Freer's bond was set to $1,000.
Both are expected to appear in court on Dec. 23.
Anyone who suspects child maltreatment can contact the Child Abuse and Neglect Careline at 1-800-842-2288, DCF said. Support services can be found by dialing 211.
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