A King woman who worked as a part-time helper at Calvary Baptist Preschool in King is facing charges of assault and child abuse, authorities said Wednesday.
Elizabeth Renee Mills, 19, of Cedardale Lane was arrested by King police on Thursday Oct. 8 and charged with three counts of misdemeanor assault on a child under 12 and three counts of misdemeanor child abuse, according to arrest warrants.
Mills has been released from custody on her written promise to appear in court on Nov. 17, according to a King police report and state court records.
Mills couldn't be reached Wednesday to comment on the charges against her.
Mills is accused of repeatedly pinching three 1-year-olds — two girls and a boy — on their torsos and arms, causing bruises and sores on their arms and torsos, the warrants said. At the time, Mills was employed at the Calvary Baptist Church day-care center.
The offenses happened from Sept. 7 to Oct. 8, according to the warrants. The victims' ages range from 1 year and 8 months and to 1 year and 11 months.
King police began investigating Mills after the agency received an Oct. 7 email about a complaint regarding Mills' alleged conduct from the N.C. Division of Child Development and Early Education, Detective Chad Williams said. Investigators have talked to the parents of the children who were abused, Williams said.
King police are still investigating the matter, police Capt. Ian Tedder said.
Mills graduated in 2020 from the high school program of Calvary Christian School, said Sid Main, the principal of the Calvary Christian School. The church's preschool is part of that organization.
The preschool reported the allegations against Mills to Child Protective Services within the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, said Amanda Marshall, the director of the Calvary Baptist Preschool. Marshall declined to say how long Mills had worked as a part-time helper in the preschool or how many children are enrolled in the day-care program.
Mills was fired as soon as church officials learned about the allegations against her, Main said. The preschool's security-camera footage shows the affected infants being abuse, he said.
"We immediately pulled her (Mills) from the classroom when we learned about the accusation," Main said. "She was fired and not allowed back on the campus."
In the aftermath of the charges against Mills, no parent has pulled his or her child from the church's day-care program, Main said.
"As soon as an accusation was made, we as an institution acted very quickly, and we were very forthcoming with the parents," Main said. "We removed the potential of any increased infraction, and we cooperated with the authorities in every way.
According to its website, Calvary Baptist Church at 583 S. Main St. in King operates the Calvary Baptist Preschool, the Calvary Christian School and the Calvary Baptist Bible College and Seminary.
Calvary Baptist Church at 5000 Country Club Road in Winston-Salem is not connected to Calvary Baptist Church in King, said Tom Mehaffey, the executive director of the Winston-Salem church's administration.
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