A parents worst nightmare has come true in Elyria, Ohio. Two small children became victims of a daycare worker’s selfish pleasures recently, as she sexually abused the little ones and even video taped one of the incidents. Heather Koon, age 25, was jailed for rape charges and is being held with a $2 million bond. The worker from Oberlin, Ohio, was employed by the ABC Kidz Child Care, of Elyria, for about eight months and left her job this past April.
Police discovered the video by accident while they were investigating Koon’s boyfriend, who is a registered sex offender. He is serving a five year probation for pandering pornography. The couple had been living together and a probation violation by the boyfriend led police to capture all computers in the home. The incident Koon video taped was discovered and all attention was quickly turned to her. The children that were victimized were between the ages of one and two. Sadly, the children were much too young to recount the horror and the incident most likely would have never been reported if it had not been for the discovery of the video.
Staff and administrators at the daycare facility were shocked and deeply sorry about the incident. No other complaints have been brought against the center and this appears to be an isolated event. Parents were contacted and informed about the findings and so far no other families have stepped forward with accusations. The crime is being taken very seriously and is being thoroughly investigated. Heather Koon was described as a good worker and well trusted by the center and parents, so the news of her arrest surprised many.
Incidents in daycare happen all the time. Different types of abuse have been reported across the country, in centers, in private homes and also in adult daycare facilities. Even with background checks, a trusted worker can veer the wrong way and take advantage of the very one they are hired to care for. The most prevalent type of abuse is neglect, followed by physical, sexual and emotional abuse, Accidents account for the least amount of incidents in these settings. Not all victims are capable of talking or explaining abuse to their parent or family, so many times the terrible occurrences are not reported to authorities. Abuse has also occurred at the hands of older children in centers hitting toddlers and babies.
Leaving a child or loved one in the hands of a caregiver takes thorough checking of the center and references. The use of security cameras has helped in reducing daycare abuse, but still it can happen. There seems to be many variables in finding and keeping reliable care for children and elderly adults. Over capacity levels should be noted as well when searching for a trusted daycare facility.
Heather Koon is due back in court October 15. The daycare worker needs to be jailed for her crime. Her fate will soon be told, but in the meantime, she has ruined her own life, the lives of others and the reputation of more than the daycare she used to work for. For a few minutes of fun, the lifetime of damage has been done. The outcome and consequences will have lingering effects on many lives for a very long time.
Written by: Roanne H. FitzGibbon