LATHROP, Mo. — A mother in Clinton County says her daughter was assaulted by her child care provider in August. The 8-year-old girl had bruises on her face and body.
The woman was arrested but hasn’t been charged.
When her mother came to pick her up after work, she said at first she thought it was makeup. Then she realized it was far more serious. The images in this story may be difficult for some viewers.
Black, blue and purple. That’s all Emilie Rule could see when she picked her daughter up after work on August 6.
“What’s on your face? And she just kept looking on the ground and wouldn’t tell me. She said, ‘I didn’t put anything on my face, Mom.’ That’s all she would say to me,” Rule said.
Rule said her 8-year-old daughter has behavioral challenges, but never has someone struck her child. She left her children in the care of a woman who she said looks after a lot of children. But the state of Missouri said she doesn’t have a license.
“It depends on the day really. Some days I go in there, and there’s kids sleeping on the floors covering the furniture, and she’s just one person,” Rule said.
Rule said she took her daughter to the Clinton County sheriff, and they got Lathrop Police Department involved. The woman was arrested by Lathrop PD the same day for third-degree assault with a special victim classification. The case is currently with the Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney.
She said her daughter struggled to look at herself.
“She wouldn’t look at herself for a while. After it happened when she still had the bruises, she wanted to put my makeup on every day,” Rule said.
Rule said she wants to see charges in this case and justice for her daughter.
“I call daily. I call the prosecutor. I call the victim’s advocate. I call the Clinton County Sheriff Department even though they don’t have anything to do with it. I call Lathrop Police Department. I get no answers other than we have one prosecutor and she’s part time because we don’t have funding,” Rule said.
A lawyer for the woman tells FOX4 there are no charges in the case at this time and can’t comment on a pending investigation.
FOX4 asked the woman directly if she had a license to care for children, but she would not respond to the question. Rule said she believes there are other children being cared for in her home, and some of them with special needs.
“I can’t help but blame myself for what happened, but what am I supposed to do? I have to work. I can’t survive if I don’t, and I’m barely surviving now as is,” Rule said. “It’s not your fault. Nobody ever has the right to do that to you. At all.”
FOX4 reached out to the Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney but did not hear back.
The state of Missouri said you should always research day care providers online before entrusting your children with them. You can find out if they are licensed and if there are any complaints against them on the Child Care Search Tool on their website.
Rule said with her income and lack of options in Clinton County it’s left her unable to find care providers in her price range.
The Department of Elementary & Secondary Education also said if you are aware of an unlicensed day care operating anywhere in the state you can file a complaint on their website. If you believe a child is experiencing abuse you can report it through the Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline.