Four workers members taken into custody following baby abuse probe at Lawrence Faculty | Waukesha County Information
WAUKESHA — Four staff members at Lawrence School were taken into custody following an investigation on Wednesday by the City of Waukesha Police Investigations Division.
Parents of children who receive care from Lawrence School, 3011 Saylesville Rd., Waukesha, stood in a line waiting to pick up their children on Wednesday.
Authorities conducted a search warrant based on allegations of physical abuse of a child that allegedly happened at 3311 Saylesville Road, Dan Baumann, Waukesha police captain, said.
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The school is a privately owned and operated childcare facility.
Three of the staff members were booked and released with potential charges of failure to protect, which will be referred to the District Attorney’s Office.
One staff member was arrested and was transported to the Waukesha County Jail, with charges of physical abuse of a child being referred to the District Attorney’s Office. This is an open and active investigation.
“The investigative team developed a plan to substantiate and moreover have access to key personnel and pieces of evidence. To note, the facility was operating at over 150% capacity, which is regulated by the State of Wisconsin,” Baumann said.
Investigators were able to have access to family members as well as the children to seek out other potential victims in this case,” Baumann said.
“We are grateful for the understanding and patience of the families impacted by today’s investigation. We are aware this was not convenient, but also understand that the bigger picture was to provide a voice to our crime victims,” he added.
School District of Waukesha ends relationship with Lawrence
The School District of Waukesha is working with the families of the children who attended 4-year-old kindergarten at the Lawrence School to find placements at School District of Waukesha 4K elementary school sites.
District administration was alerted at 9 am Wednesday that the Waukesha Police Department was executing a warrant at the Lawrence School accompanied by a large police presence, according to a statement from the district.
The Lawrence School is a 4K partner site where students are served by Lawrence staff, not School District of Waukesha staff.
“We are immediately ending our relationship with the Lawrence School as a 4K partner site. We are shocked and saddened by the reports from the Waukesha Police Department regarding the investigation of physical abuse at the Lawrence School,” said the school district news release. “We are committed to working with our families to find a new four-year-old kindergarten placement for their children as soon as practicable.”
The Waukesha Police Department is on the scene at Lawrence School, 3011 Saylesville Rd., Waukesha, after allegations of child abuse have shut down the daycare center Wednesday.
Lauren Lepoidevin stood outside in the school’s parking lot for over an hour waiting to pick up her five-year-old son. One by one, parents talked to the police and gave their information before they were allowed to pick up their children.
According to Lepoidevin, parents were notified through an email that read; “Due to an unexpected event, Lawrence School is closed today. We ask all parents to make arrangements to pick up their children immediately. There’s no safety concern for your children.”
Lepoideven has been bringing her children to the Lawrence School for eight years. Her youngest attends 4K at the school. She has never had any problems within those eight years.
“All we know is there’s just suspicions of something, and we have no other information,” said Lepoideven while waiting line to pick up her son.
Waukesha Police Capt. Dan Baumann said the police wanted to ensure that they reunited the children with the correct family member as the reunification process took longer than they expected.
Lepoideven was told by the lead detective on the case that all the children were safe inside and were proceeding with the day like nothing happened.
A phone call to the school seeking comments was not returned before deadline.
City of Waukesha Police Investigators worked in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Child and Families, the Wisconsin Department of Justice Department of Criminal Investigations, the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office and the Waukesha District Attorney’s Office.
“All investigative bodies had interest in this case at various levels. The investigative team worked with the reporting party and family of the alleged child victim,” Baumann said.