Six former Children’s Emergency Hostel workers charged with child abuse

Six former employees at the Children’s Emergency Hostel yesterday faced charges related to the physical abuse of 11 children in their care.

Eloise Canter, 52; Carmetta Woods 47; Natasha Pratt, 46; Occonelle Gordon, 25; and Sabrina Smith, 61, denied child cruelty charges when they appeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt.

Prosecutors say they physically abused the wards of the state, ages eight through 11, on September 22, 2020.

The prosecution alleges that Shawn Seymour knew about the abuse but didn’t do anything about it.

She pleaded not guilty to failing to report the abuse of a minor.

Authorities launched an investigation at the home last month after a video of the incident went viral on social media.

They were dismissed as a result.

The accused could face fines up to $5,000 or two years’ imprisonment if convicted.

Ian Cargill asked the magistrate to consider reasonable bail as the accused are no longer working.

Ferguson-Pratt said that while the charges were only allegations, she had to consider the gravity of the offenses.

She released each accused on $9,500 bail with one or two sureties on the condition that they report to a police station on Mondays until their trial.

They are scheduled to return to court from November 2 to November 5 for trial.

Barry Sawyer represented Canter and Smith; Ian Cargill represented Pratt and Ryszard, Humes represented Woods.

Sergeant 3605 Samantha Miah prosecuted.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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