Suggestive photos shut down daycare center
Vail CO, Colorado
COPPER MOUNTAIN ” Allegations of photographs with a baby in a sexually suggestive pose and smoking a cigarette led to an investigation and the closing of the Pumpkin Patch Day Care Center, according to an Order of Summary Suspension by the Colorado Department of Human Services.
The resort received the order Thursday and closed the facility immediately, according to a press release by Copper Mountain Monday.
“We have notified the parents of those children known to be directly involved,” the release said. “At Copper Mountain, the health, safety and welfare of children is of paramount important.”
The female employees allegedly involved and the supervisor of the facility have been “suspended indefinitely, pending further investigation,” according to Copper’s release.
An Order of Summary Suspension “basically means shutting them down,” said Liz McDonough, spokeswoman with the Department of Human Services. However, the center does have a chance to petition the order through an administrative law judge, she added.
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The investigation began March 27 when the Department of Human Services received a complaint of allegations that two staff at Pumpkin Patch were abusing infants in care. “Two staff working in the infant room of the facility took photographs of a baby looking like he was ‘shooting a bird’ and forcing him to hold his middle finger resulting in the child crying,” is written in the findings of the order.
The staff involved admitted to photographs of two babies fighting and a naked baby in a sexually suggestive pose. There are reports that these photos were e-mailed to others.
Also, the order states that some time in the past, one of the staff carried a naked boy and walked around the office showing his genitals and laughing.
The “governing body of the facility” failed to report these allegations and interfered with the investigation by personally interviewing the staff involved. The licensing specialist from the state found the staff had inappropriate magazines in the infant room, watched movies and used personal laptops while they were responsible for the children, and that those allegedly involved continued to work at the facility.
Summit County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation into the incident and are unable to comment because it is an active investigation.