Lexington day care worker accused of throwing, grabbing, assaulting dozens of children

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 3:32 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2021 at 5:38 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - A woman previously arrested and accused of abusing children in her care now faces dozens of more charges.

Breanna Audette, 23, of Irmo, was employed at Harvest Daycare on Whiteford Way in Lexington.

She was fired after she was arrested in July on 14 counts of unlawful conduct towards a child.

At that time, police said she was caught on camera aggressively grabbing children by the neck, throat, face and arms, and was also seen pushing a child to the ground.

But as the investigation has progressed, many more allegations of abuse have come to light.

Police reviewed additional day care surveillance footage from June 1 to July 12, leading to 35 new charges of unlawful conduct towards a child.

That video showed her again aggressively grabbing children, picking children up “violently” by their arms or legs, and throwing children into the corner of the room several times, police said.

Officers say her victims ranged in age from 10 months old to 5 years old.

Audette was in court Friday after being arrested on the 35 new warrants.

A judge gave her a $70,000 surety bond. She had previously been released on a $14,000 bond after her first arrest.

She must also have no unsupervised contact with children, follow the Department of Social Services’ plan for her own children, not contact any of the victims or their families, and not be within 100 yards of anywhere children gather.

Parents of children who went to Harvest Daycare told WIS they were only recently informed their children may have been harmed by Audette.

More than a dozen of them showed up for her bond hearing Friday afternoon. WIS is speaking with them and will have more details about what Audette is accused of soon.

The Lexington Police Department said it has reviewed all footage and has closed the investigation.

Audette is due back in court Sept. 30.

At the time of her previous arrest, Harvest Church Administrator Brooks Cannon sent the following statement:

“Last week, we learned about unacceptable actions by a Harvest Daycare employee. We immediately suspended this individual while assessing the situation. In addition, upon review of the individual’s actions, we decided to report the concern to law enforcement and DSS.

“We have been informed that this situation is the subject of an ongoing law enforcement investigation and thus, cannot provide further details at this time. However, please know we are fully cooperating with the investigation and committed to the safety and care of every child at the daycare.”

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