Day Care Worker Charged With Cruelty to Children in Lancaster

A day care worker has been charged with multiple counts of misdemeanor cruelty to children in Lancaster. The worker turned herself in on Tuesday, March 2, in response to the formal charges against her. She has since been identified by the authorities as Stephanie Michelle Carnes, 53, of Lancaster.

According to the details shared by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, allegations against Carnes surfaced back in November, 2020. At the time, she was working at the Buford Child Care located on the Rocky River Road. Barnes left the day care center when the allegations surfaced and is currently not an employee at the facility. 

In response to these allegations, deputies with the LCSO started investigations into Carnes’ conduct at the child care center. The deputies went through the CCTV videos from cameras inside the facility while also conducting interviews with various children and other related parties.

The interviews and other evidence revealed that Carnes was likely involved in cruelty to children. The offense is a misdemeanor under the South Carolina laws. The law defines the offense as when someone ‘cruelly ill-treats, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or inflicts unnecessary pain or suffering upon a child or causes the same to be done.’

As a result of the preliminary investigations, authorities charged Carnes with the improper hitting and pushing of four children. Another two charges were brought in connection with two other children who were the victims of cruelty at the hands of the suspect, deputies confirmed.

Carnes now faces a total of six counts of misdemeanor cruelty to children in Lancaster. Deputies obtained a warrant for her arrest and took her into custody on Tuesday. The penalties for the offense include a $200 fine for each count, or a maximum of 30 days in jail for each count.

For more information, contact a South Carolina family lawyer.