A pair of Lee's Summit daycares were closed the past two days after one of its workers was charged with sexual abuse of a child and his mother, the daycares’ owner was charged with child endangerment.
Jackson County prosecutors Wednesday charged 18-year-old Joseph Hammerly, who recently graduated from Lee's Summit North High School, with statutory sodomy and Emily Hammerly, 47, with felony child endangerment and failure to report child abuse.
A letter sent Wednesday by Little Learner told families the Department of Family Services was investigating an allegation of a possible incident at Little Learner and that the daycare would not be open until the DFS made a finding. The letter writer said they hoped the daycare could re-open soon and make possible refunds.
The alleged incident happened on July 10 at the Little Learner daycare on Church Street in south Lee's Summit, and Emily Hammerly also owns Little Learners II near Woods Chapel Road in north Lee's Summit. The victim told her teacher the next morning that Joseph Hammerly had taken her to the bathroom, where the alleged sexual act(s) took place, and gave her “apple candies” and told her not to tell.
The teacher immediately told another daycare employee, who in turn told Emily Hammerly and later the victim's parents. The parents then notified Lee's Summit Police.
Security video footage from the afternoon of July 10 showed Joseph Hammerly twice took the victim briefly to the bathroom, where there is no camera, and allowed her to select something from the “prize box.”
According the court documents, Emily Hammerly told police that on July 11 she did not tell instruct any employees to report or hotline the incident and didn't report it herself because her first priority was to contact the victim's mother. She said she talked with Joseph and found nothing “odd, concerning or disbelieving” and “felt good” after their conversation. She said she allowed Joseph to work his normal shifts July 11-12 so it didn't appear like he was hiding anything and made sure he was not to be left alone with any children.