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Day care provider pleads not guilty to assault

Posted: January 27, 2012 - 1:08am

A day care provider in Juneau has been charged in a criminal case with two counts of assault against two minors.

Colleen E. Tilley, 40, who operates Colleen Tilley ChildCare out of her Switzer Village residence in the 6500 block of Glacier Highway, faces two misdemeanor counts of assault — one for recklessly causing physical injury to one child by poking the child in the chest on Nov. 22, 2011 and the other for recklessly causing physical injury by grabbing another child by his arms on Dec. 8, 2011 according to charging documents. The misdemeanors are listed as class ‘A’ misdemeanor offenses in violation of city statutes, according to the charging documents.

Tilley pleaded not guilty to the charges during an arraignment on Wednesday, attorneys said, and a representation hearing was scheduled for next week.

The Juneau Police Department announced in a statement last month they received a report of two boys receiving bruises reportedly from their day care provider, whom they only described as a 40-year-old woman. Officers said they executed a search warrant at her residence on Dec. 14, 2011. Three children were in the home when JPD arrived, and their parents were notified and came to pick them up before leaving, the release stated. JPD forwarded the charges of two counts of assault to the city attorney’s office.

The Alaska Department of Health & Social Services’ Communications Manager Clay Butcher said on Thursday by email that Tilley’s license was not revoked, but was suspended on Dec. 14, 2011, pending an investigation. When asked if the day care is still being investigated by the department, Butcher responded, “The investigation is complete. Final outcome is pending the hearing (in) process.”

Butcher said Tilley has been licensed since March 2009.

City Attorney Robyn Carlisle alleged in an affidavit a woman went to the JPD station on Dec. 10 to report she found a bruise on her son which she said he received at Colleen Tilley’s ChildCare. The woman told officers she had picked her son up from day care two days earlier, and that her son had complained of pain on his right arm, which is when she first noticed the bruise, according to the affidavit. The woman said her son told her Tilley was mean to him, pulled on his arm when he wouldn’t take a nap during nap time, and Tilley spanks him really hard. The woman told police she took her son to a medical facility for treatment. The woman also said her sister has a son who goes to Tilley’s Day Care, and approximately a week ago, her sister complained her son had numerous poke mark bruises on his chest.

The JPD investigator observed a bruise on the woman’s child and took digital photographs of it.

An forensic interviewer then interviewed the child at the Child Advocacy Center, with a police investigator monitoring the conversation from an adjacent room. The boy told the interviewer Tilley hurt him by dragging him by both arms to the porch, and he got the bruise by bumping into something while being dragged, according to the affidavit. The boy also stated “(Tilley) has hurt him before but he didn’t want to tell how because he was afraid,” according to the affidavit.

Police then interviewed the woman’s sister and her son at the Child Advocacy Center. The affidavit states the sister told police she noticed bruises on her son’s chest, and had taken pictures of them with her cell phone on Nov. 22, 2011. The sister said her son told her Tilley “did the bruises because he broke a bong.” The sister told police she confronted Tilley about it, and Tilley said the boy got the bong from a friend’s purse and broke it.

When the forensic interview asked the boy about it, the boy said, “(Tilley) pokes me with a finger and he doesn’t like that,” the affidavit stated. The boy told the interviewer she only hurt him that one time.

Police interviewed Tilley at her Switzer Village residence on Dec. 14, 2011 and she told police she remembered both incidents, and that the first child was hitting another child so she put him in time-out. Tilley explained the boy was not listening so they walked outside by the front door.

“Tilley stated she got in (the boy’s) face and said, ‘Look at me,’ but when (the boy) refused to look at her, she picked up (the boy) and laid him down and told him, ‘I’m in charge, and I’m the boss, and you’re the one that has to listen,’” the affidavit states. “Tilley went on to state at first she picked up (the boy) and stood him up because he was not listening. Tilley stated she did grab (the boy) and picked him up by grabbing his shoulder area and she may have been holding (the boy’s) arm when she walked him outside.”

Tilley then went on to say she did poke the second boy on the chest with her right index finger as she was crouched down on her knees talking to him, and later told his mom about it, after he was caught stealing flashlights.

Reached by phone on Thursday, Tilley had no comment.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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