Day-care worker is charged with criminal abuse of 1-year-old child

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comJuly 16, 2013 

A worker at Lexington Baptist Temple Daycare was arrested Monday after she was observed on video surveillance "causing cruel punishment" to a 1-year-old child, court documents said.

Shirley Kaye Martinez, 58, was charged with second-degree criminal abuse. She entered a not-guilty plea at her arraignment in Fayette District Court on Tuesday.

Court documents did not specify what the video revealed.

Lexington Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said she didn't know what the video showed. Roberts said Martinez allegedly struck a child in the face and jerked the child out of a chair on July 5. Police were notified on July 8, Roberts said.

Roberts said other adults witnessed the alleged abuse.

Martinez was arrested Monday at the day care on Armstrong Mill Road, according to court records.

Church day care officials did not return a telephone call asking for a comment.

Martinez was released from jail on bond Monday night, jail spokesman Darin Kelly said. Court records show that she was released on $500 bond and was ordered not to have any contact with the child.

The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which regulates day care centers in the state, is investigating the abuse allegation, Cabinet spokeswoman Jill Midkiff said.

No action has been taken by the cabinet against the day care's operating license, Midkiff said. Inspection reports posted on the Cabinet's website showed that state investigators found that the center was not in compliance with state regulations at least three times in 2012.

Herald-Leader staff writer Karla Ward contributed to this report. Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter: @vhspears.

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