JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A former day care worker accused of injuring a 1-year-old will not be charged criminally, the News4Jax I-TEAM has uncovered.
In January, News4Jax reported the arrest of Franchon Hart on a charge of felony child abuse, but the I-TEAM has confirmed the State Attorney's Office is not prosecuting her.
Kelsey Kurtz, the toddler's mother, spoke out, saying she's furious nothing more is being done.
"You just wonder, as a parent, what did your child have to go through? Emotionally and physically," Kurtz said. "No child should ever go through anything like that."
Kurtz said she and her husband can't get over what happened to their daughter, Madyn, three months ago.
The child had bruises and scratches -- injuries that her mother said came from Hart, her day care worker.
"We had no idea that this teacher would ever do it," Kurtz said.
According to Hart’s arrest report, several employees at the Northside location of The Learning Experience saw Hart hurt the child in December. They reported it to the Department of Children and Families and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Hart, 46, was fired and arrested on a charge of felony child abuse. But three months later, prosecutors said, based on the law, they're no longer pursuing criminal charges.
The I-TEAM on Friday obtained a disposition statement from the State Attorney's Office, saying, "It is not a crime for a parent or a person acting in place of a parent to impose reasonable physical discipline on a child for misbehaving ... The victim's injuries did not require medical attention ... It is likely that a juror may find the D (defendant's) actions reasonable when considering the law."
"We are extremely upset," Kurtz said.
Hart didn't come to the door at her home and didn't answer the I-TEAM's calls asking for her side of the story.
Kurtz said Madyn is still traumatized, and she and her husband are now spreading the word so other parents can be on alert.
"For the future, I would like for no one to have to go through this," she said.
She and her husband vow to write to legislators, asking them to change the laws.
A spokesman for The Learning Experience day care told the I-TEAM, “We take every occurrence very seriously and do all that is possible to ensure the safety and care of our children, staff and that will always remain our highest priority.”
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