OLATHE, Kan. — A former Johnson County daycare employee is charged after an affidavit said video shows her abusing children more than 170 times in less than a month.
The district attorney charged 24-year-old Rachel Beth Schrader with four counts of child abuse.
“We have empathy for the victims and their families, and we also understand as prosecutors our chief responsibilities is to protect those who can’t protect themselves, and that is very young children and our senior citizens,” Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said.
“We take these types of cases very seriously, and we will do our very best to see that justice is done.”
Employees at Shawnee Mission Christian Wee Care in Westwood, where Schrader worked, contacted police March 26 after saying they noticed an infant was injured. They reviewed surveillance video and noticed Schrader physically abusing a child at the facility. The daycare fired Schrader after seeing the video.
“Involving an actual daycare facility, it’s pretty rare that we see those kinds of situations,” Howe said.
According to the affidavit, investigators also watched the surveillance video and said there were more than 170 instances of Schrader abusing children at the center between March 2 and March 26, 2021. All of the victims were under the age of 1.
According to the affidavit, investigators witnessed the following abuse on the surveillance video from the daycare:
- March 26, 2021 — Video shows Schrader grabbing a child by one arm before sitting in a chair and hitting the baby’s leg when the child wouldn’t take a bottle. She then tossed the child from her lap and onto the floor.
- March 23, 2021 — Video shows Schrader kicking children, slapping them on the face and shaking them violently as she carried them.
- March 22, 2021 — Video shows Schrader kicking and slapping a child and then pushing him to the floor. She is also observed on video smothering a child with his bib for a few seconds before slamming the child onto the floor and kicking him. Investigators said video shows her slamming the child a second time.
- March 18, 2021 — Video shows Schrader hitting a child in the back of the head with an open hand. She is also observed hitting a child repeatedly as she changed his diaper.
- March 12, 2021 — Video shows Schrader hitting a student in the face and causing him to fall to the ground. She then kicks him in the face and the side.
- March 11, 2021 — Video shows Schrader kicking a child in the head. Later the same day, video shows her hitting a different child in the face and then throwing him on the floor.
- March 10, 2021 –Video shows her kicking a child in the chest and causing the child to fall back on his head.
- March 8, 2021 — Video shows her pushing down an infant.
Investigators said the list of alleged abuse is only an example of dozens of other acts they viewed on video.
According to the affidavit, Schrader admitted she lost her patience with a baby on March 26, 2021, but it was the first time she’d ever mistreated any of the children in her care at the daycare.
She was arraigned on the charges earlier this month, and is currently out of jail on $35,000 bond.
Howe encourages any other parents who suspect their child may have been hurt to contact investigators.
“If their child was cared for by this individual and they have suspicions and evidence they feel is relevant, please reach out to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and let them know about it,” Howe said.
“It’s an ongoing investigation so we are waiting to see if there are more individuals who come forward.”