MUSKOGEE, Okla. — A woman has been arrested in connection with alleged abuse at Oak Tree Academy in Muskogee, according to police reports.
Rebecca Isham, 22, was caught on video assaulting juveniles at the academy Monday afternoon, said Muskogee Police Department Interim Public Information Officer Jeramie Garcia.
"Officers responded to a call about 4:45 p.m. Monday and reviewed video from the day care," Garcia said. "After viewing the security footage, they made an arrest."
Garcia said the footage depicted Isham mistreating a juvenile he described as a toddler, laying the child down "aggressively" while attempting to put the child down for a nap.
After her arrest Monday on a complaint of child abuse, Isham made an initial appearance in court Tuesday, where she was given a $25,000 bond, said Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge. Isham will be charged Wednesday on two counts of child abuse, Loge added.
The district attorney said he saw part of the video footage, but declined to comment on what it contained.
"This is an ongoing investigation," Loge said. "It's going to take some additional time to complete and decide whether or not further charges will be filed against Ms. Isham or somebody else associated with the day care."
Oak Tree Academy owner Debbie Martin said Isham has since been fired from the day care facility.
"We do not abuse children here, and we had a worker that had a bad day, and we’re not allowed to have bad days around here," Martin said. "She broke some rules, and that’s where she got in trouble."
Martin said she could not offer further specifics while the matter was under investigation.
"I know there’s two sides to every story, and things have been blown way out of proportion, but until the investigation’s finished, I don’t think I’m allowed to say anything," Martin said. "This is something new to us. We’re just kind of working our way through it."
However, a 2013 Phoenix story states that a day care also owned by Martin in Fort Gibson, also called Oak Tree Academy, had an incident with a child in October 2013 in which an employee taped the child's shoes to their feet.
Bonnie Louise Kodaseet, 29, was originally charged in late 2013 with felony child abuse, although the charge was later amended to a misdemeanor charge of act causing gross injury. Kodaseet pleaded guilty to the charge, was fined $100 and was ordered to pay $601.38 restitution.
Garcia noted that the Oklahoma Department of Human Services had also opened an investigation into the current case.
Rusty Smith of Rusty Smith Law Group and Spartan Law Group LLC provided the following statement on behalf of Hannah Long, the mother of the child involved in the Oak Tree day care incident.
“In light of the criminal filings today and the commencement of what is certain to be a complete and thorough investigation by the appropriate authorities, Hannah Long has no comment, at least until those proceedings and the evidence is further developed,” Smith said. "But I will say that I expect the evidence to speak for itself and, with respect to ‘proportionality,’ we will proceed forward in a manner that is proportionate to what appears to every parent’s worst nightmare.”