Daycare Owners, Employee Arrested In Abuse Case

NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS — Three people affiliated with the Brilliant Starts Learning Academy in New Braunfels, including its owners, were arrested this week in connection with the alleged physical abuse last year of children there.

Randel Lee Norman and Patricia M. Norman, proprietors of the business at 2101 FM 1101, are each charged with five misdemeanor counts of failing to report child abuse/neglect, and one felony charge each of failing to report child abuse/neglect with intent to conceal, court records show.

Former employee Constance J. Digiovanni, who police say admitted to injuring children with forceful handling, faces 20 counts of child endangerment and one count each of injury to a child and failing to report child abuse/neglect with intent to conceal, according to court records.

Attempts to reach Digiovanni, 41, of New Braunfels, were unsuccessful. Comal County Jail records show she was released Tuesday under $47,500 bail. The Normans, both 57, also were released Tuesday, each under $5,000 bail.

New Braunfels police led the investigation into the alleged physical abuse by Digiovanni of five children at the daycare in December.

Digiovanni was earlier charged with injury to a child by New Braunfels police after a video from the daycare showed her forcefully putting a 3-year-old boy onto a mat at naptime Dec. 16, a police spokesman said. She was initially arrested on Feb. 18 and freed on $25,000 bail on Feb. 19, jail records show.

Calls to the Normans seeking comment were answered by Scot Courtney, a San Marcos attorney, who said the couple cooperated with the investigation. They have not been told the specifics of the accusation against them and their first priority is to make sure the children at their day care are “safely provided for,” he said.

“I think once all the facts are revealed, they’ll be exonerated,” Courtney said.

A woman who dropped off her 18-month-old son Wednesday morning at Brilliant Starts, who didn’t want to give her name, said the charges hadn’t shaken her confidence in the day care.

“The Normans are the nicest people,” she said. “They keep us updated. We knew everything about (the charges.)” 

Child Abuse cases tied to drugs growing problem in Iowa

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Children are being exposed to candy laced with drugs

DES MOINES, Iowa —State officials said they’re seeing more child abuse cases where children are exposed to illegal drugs at an early age.

The problem has grown so much that Wednesday Gov. Terry Branstad proclaimed an awareness day to draw attention to the issue.

Just last week, a 1-year-old boy living in a Newton apartment tested positive for methamphetamine. The couple charged with caring for the baby were arrested and charged.

Also this month, Deshawn Trombone was arrested and charged in connection with the drug overdose that killed a 5-year-old girl in the Vine Street Lofts in downtown Des Moines.

Blank Children’s Hospital Child Protection Center deals with the young, innocent victims. They see new victims exposed to drugs every day.

Young children can grab and ingest the drugs or be exposed to the smoke or chemicals.

State official said they are seizing more candy that contains illegal drugs, especially after the legalization of marijuana around the country.

Last year, Iowa Drug Enforcement Task Forces referred 300-cases to the Department of Human Services. DHS reports 1,334 cases of drug related child abuse. The children were often neglected in deplorable living conditions.

Iowans are being urged to call authorities immediately if you suspect a child may be in danger due to drug use.

Black Widow Mom’s Boyfriend Charged

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Dewayne Boyer

FESTUS, MO (KTVI) – Police came to a Festus home Sunday morning for a report of a spider bite. What they found was one of the worst cases of child abuse they have ever seen. A 17-month-old child was found beaten to death. A 3-year-old was also injured in the attack.

Mother Taylor Fast, 21, was arrested on child endangerment charges. Now, her boyfriend has been identified and charged in connection with the abuse of the 3-year-old.

Dewayne Boyer, of DeSoto, MO is charged with abuse or neglect of a child. His cash only bond has been set at $500,000.

If you wish to help the family with burial cost, a GoFundMe account has been established: Layla Fast “Evans” Funeral Cost.