Former Rainbow Child Care worker accused of abuse faces bench trial

COVINGTON, Ky. — The bench trial for a former child care worker facing criminal abuse charges started at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Anne Marie Ogonek is accused of pushing children, yanking them by their arms and covering a 14-month-old boy’s face with a blanket to make him sleep while working at Rainbow Child Care in Edgewood.

Judge Kenneth Easterling sternly rebuked Ogonek and her attorney on July 27, when he rejected an Alford plea that would have allowed her to maintain innocence while admitting the prosecution has significant evidence against her.

“There’s an absence of acceptance of responsibility with an Alford Plea,” Easterling said. “This is a very serious charge for people, kids that are defenseless … defenseless. This court is going to stand up and defend those who can’t defend themselves.”

With those words, the judge ordered Ogonek back to court Thursday where he will make the final decision on her punishment.