No criminal charges will be filed against the teacher at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church’s Mother’s Day Out program who was accused by a mother of mishandling her child, authorities said Monday.
“After a thorough review of video evidence, investigators have concluded that no crime occurred. We asked our District Attorney’s Office to review the case and ADA Natalie Payne concurred with our findings,” sheriff’s Maj. Steve Morris said in a statement.
June Barrow, 61, was accused by pre-school mom Kasey Brooks of abusing her son Hatcher while he was participating in the program on Aug. 31. Brooks, herself, was arrested the next day after allegedly assaulting the teacher for over a minute following a meeting with the program director.
Brooks defended her actions in a lengthy account to The Jail Report, saying she watched videos of the teacher abusing her 2-year-old son, who is nonverbal.
But the sheriff’s office reviewed at least four days of surveillance video of Barrow and the child before deciding there was nothing criminal in her behavior.
Attorney Jack Long, who represents Barrow, said Sunday that the claims against his client were “based solely on a narrative by the perpetrator without so much as a shred of evidence.” He criticized supporters of the mother for spreading the false accusations and raising money for “the aggressor.”
“This weekend, the church announced that it had been informed by law enforcement that, after a thorough review of all the evidence, there was not probable cause to charge the victim with any crime,” Long said in a post on his Facebook page. “Probable cause is the lowest threshold to meet in terms of legal burdens of proof.”
He also said those who made defamatory, slanderous, and libelous statements online and in person “may find that their conduct will need to be answered for in a court of law.”
A majority of people in the community have supported the 28-year-old mother after hearing her defense. Many also railed against the teacher, with a few even targeting her family’s business with negative reviews. Brooks has raised over $31,000 on GoFundMe for her legal fees with donations from hundreds of people.
According to a sheriff’s report, Brooks came to the church Sept. 1 to discuss how her child was handled at the MDO program. During the meeting with Barrow and the school director, Brooks allegedly punched and hit the teacher in the back of the head, repeatedly.
A witness tried to stop the assault but could not. She yelled for help and a second witness came into the room and pulled Brooks off the victim.
“But then Kasey jumped back on her and again started hitting her with her fist as the victim was lying on the floor,” the sheriff’s report says. “Kasey also bit the victim’s left thumb/palm, leaving visible marks.”
The witnesses pulled the parent off the teacher, and the teacher retreated to a class bathroom and locked the door. Brooks left the building, saying she would “wait for her mugshot,” a report says.
As deputies arrived, the teacher’s face was swollen and she had teeth marks on the base of her thumb. She was taken by ambulance to Doctors Hospital for treatment.
Brooks was charged with battery and later released on bond. She contacted The Jail Report in anticipation of the story making the news. She requested to tell her side of the story.
In her account, she said she watched video of Barrow “spank him several times, hit him in the head, slap him with a book, shove him to the ground, snatch him up by one arm and carry him across the room multiple times, slam him in his seat to make him eat lunch alone in time-out, pick him up by his ankles and hold him on his neck/head and grab his face so hard his cheeks were touching in his mouth as she was nose to nose with him amongst other things.”
Brooks didn’t confess to assault, but she said she appreciated the opportunity to let Barrow “see her feel how my 2 year old son felt when she was standing over him laying helplessly on the ground.”
After her release from jail, Brooks filed a sheriff’s report for the assault on her child, leading to the investigation.