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Tampa child care worker won't face child abuse charges

TAMPA — The day care worker accused of abusing four children in her care this summer will not face charges.

Dorothy Sampson-Monroe, 48, was arrested in June, accused of striking four children at Just For Kids Day Care on their faces and buttocks.

Assistant State Attorney Rita Peters said there wasn't enough evidence for her office to prosecute.

"It was based on the fact the children in question did not have any injuries as a result of any alleged abuse," Peters said.

It is the second time in four years that deputies have arrested Sampson-Monroe on child abuse charges and state prosecutors decided not to continue with the case.

In 2005, parents of an infant in what was then Sampson-Monroe's home-based day care accused her of shaking their son to the point that his brain was bruised. That time, prosecutors couldn't prove when the injuries happened or under whose supervision the incident occurred.

The boy has recovered. Though the criminal case was closed without prosecutors pursuing the charges, insurers for Sampson-Monroe agreed to pay the child's family a settlement to cover the related medical expenses.

Outside her house recently, Sampson-Monroe declined to talk about the incident or the fact that the charges were dropped, saying only that child care is "my passion, that's my heart."

County licensing authorities shut down Just For Kids day care on Busch Boulevard following her June arrest, though the reason was unrelated to the criminal charge. Inspectors learned Sampson-Monroe had falsified paperwork, listing someone else as the center's director.

Linda Stoller, child care licensing manager, said Sampson-Monroe has not reapplied to work in the field since prosecutors dropped the charges.

Rebecca Catalanello can be reached at rcatalanello@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3383.

Tampa child care worker won't face child abuse charges 11/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, November 19, 2009 11:25pm]

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