Lee’s Summit man, 18, charged with sexual abuse involving day care center

An 18 year-old Lee’s Summit man has been charged with sexual abuse connected to a day care center his mother owns.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said Joseph Hammerly is charged with two counts of statutory sodomy — deviate sexual intercourse with a child.

His mother, Emily Hammerly, 47, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and a misdemeanor for failing to report child abuse.

According to court records, the 5-year-old victim was dropped off at Little Learner Day Care at 800 S.E. Church St. on Thursday. The victim told one of her teachers that the day before, another teacher, “Mr. Joe,” had taken her to the bathroom, where she was sexually assaulted, according to investigators. The child said that afterward she was given apple candies.

Prosecutors said the girl’s teacher then contacted the business manager who informed the victim’s parents. The girl’s parents called police.

Investigators said a forensic interview with the girl revealed a story consistent with what was reported to the business manager of Little Learner.

The business manager also said she brought the victim’s report of the incident to the attention of the day care owner, Emily Hammerly, who told her to “re-direct [the victim] and tell her we don’t talk like that,” according to court records.

Joseph Hammerly worked his shift the following day with the victim present at Little Learner, prosecutors said.

Detectives interviewed Emily Hammerly who said she did not instruct any of her employees to hotline the incident and immediately went back to her home to speak with her son. Emily Hammerly told police that after speaking with her son, there was nothing she found odd and allowed him to continue working his Thursday and Friday shift so it didn’t appear like he was “hiding” from anything, according to court documents.

Emily Hammerly also said that she made sure Joseph was not to be left alone with any of the children during his shift.

Prosecutors have requested $75,000 bail for Joseph Hammerly, and $20,000 bail for Emily Hammerly.


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