Philomath day care provider faces felony child abuse charges

A 30-year-old Philomath day care provider accused of abusing two children was arraigned Friday on felony charges in Benton County Circuit Court.

Carri Lynn Brown, owner of Carri’s Little Treasures Daycare at 620 S. 19th St. in Philomath, pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal mistreatment. Philomath Police arrested her Thursday following accusations that on Tuesday she grabbed or slapped a 10-month-old baby in the face, leaving bruising from ear to ear, and that she grabbed the baby’s 2-year-old sister on the arm, leaving a bruise and scratch marks, according to police documents filed in court.

Brown, who was released from jail after Friday’s hearing, adamantly denied the allegations.

“Did I do anything to the baby? Absolutely not,” she said.

She added that she hadn’t hurt any of the children that she cared for, and that she was closing up her business and changing careers to avoid “paranoid parents” who accuse her of abuse when a child falls.

During police questioning, Brown explained that the 10-month-old’s injury could have occurred when the baby fell face-first onto a toy barn. According to court documents, Brown then allegedly admitted to police that she had placed her hand over the baby’s mouth after the child had been crying all day and would not stop.

Brown, however, denied to a Philomath Express reporter that she had covered the baby’s mouth or that she had said that to police. She added that her police interviewer had told her that what she talked about in that room would stay confidential.

A doctor who examined the children and the toy barn concluded that the injuries inflicted were not accidental. The doctor reported that the baby’s injury could not have been caused by a fall onto the toy barn, according to court documents.

The alleged abuse reportedly occurred on the children’s first day in her care out of the two days that Brown watched them.

Brown accused the parents of reporting her to police not because of any abuse but because she had considered refusing to watch their children.

“I think they got mad because I told them that I can’t watch their kids anymore because the baby was crying a lot,” she said.

Brown opened Carri’s Little Treasures Daycare in April, she said, but had a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 18 with Philomath Area Chamber of Commerce ambassadors in order to drum up business since she moved to the community only a year ago and didn’t know many people.

Brown said she has parents who have been satisfied with her level of care for their children since opening.

“I spent all day contacting my previous day care parents who have been going with me the whole time — they are upset (for me) and wishing me well,” Brown said Friday.

Brown’s next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24.