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Daycare Operator Faces Child Abuse Charges


BUTLER TOWNSHIP, MI (WTVB) - A daycare operator in Branch County’s Butler Township faces child abuse charges and license suspension after she allegedly spanked a 3-year-old boy in early January. According to the Michigan Department of Human Services, the mother of the victim noticed the boy had a hand-print on his bottom, and was concerned enough to take the boy to the emergency room, where the doctor confirmed it appeared to be the results of a spanking. Interviews with other children verified that the boy, who has an autism spectrum disorder, was spanked for refusing to take a nap. The operator of the Little Lambs Christian Daycare on Clarendon Road, 34-year old Laura Smith, had been investigated twice before for inappropriate discipline.  She is free on bond after she was booked at the county jail last Thursday on a 3rd degree child abuse charge. Her formal arraignment in Branch County District Court is set for April 22nd.