Local News

Louisburg day care closes amid child abuse probe

Posted August 8, 2012 4:52 p.m. EDT
Updated August 21, 2012 12:49 p.m. EDT

Editor's note: A misdemeanor child abuse charge against Cynthia Brubaker was dismissed on June 4, 2012.

LOUISBURG – A Franklin County day care center has closed amid a State Bureau of Investigation probe into allegations of child abuse and child neglect.

The Leaps and Bounds Early Learning Center in Louisburg first came under scrutiny in October, when complaints of child abuse against the owners, Diane and Timothy Lee, first surfaced.

The state was in the process of revoking the day care's license when Diane Lee closed the center and sold it.

According to a July 18 letter to Diane Lee from the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education, investigators found that Timothy Lee engaged in "inappropriate activities" with a child.

The child's mother says her son, who was 3 at the time, was sexually abused.

"The man who hurt him said he would kill his mommy if he ever told," the boy's mother said Wednesday. "You just think about what he went through for so long because he didn't want to tell. Now he's scared of everything and doesn't trust anyone."

The mother says her son told her there are more victims that have yet to come forward.

No criminal charges have been filed against Timothy Lee, who says he passed a polygraph test and that the allegations are "unfounded."

He referred WRAL News to his attorney, Amanda Mason, but calls to her were not immediately returned Wednesday.

The SBI won't comment on the case, but a spokeswoman says it remains under investigation.

The day care center was also the subject of two other complaints, according to the July 18 letter.

A second allegation involves Diane Lee, who allegedly dislocated a 4-year-old's shoulder after she jerked the child off another child. The letter states that day care staff also waited to notify the child's parents after the child complained about the shoulder.

Two former staff members also reported seeing Diane Lee jerking children by their arms on other occasions, the letter states.

A third complaint involved another worker, Cynthia Brubaker, who was accused of popping the hand of an 18-month-old child and restraining the child during naptime by placing her knee in the child's back so that the child would stay on a mat.

Brubaker was charged March 8, 2012, with misdemeanor child abuse, according to the letter.