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Pentagon day care worker gets probation for abuse

Wednesday - 6/11/2014, 4:21am  ET

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Va Nessa Taylor, 47, of Temple Hills, Maryland, a caregiver at the Pentagon's biggest day care center, has pleaded guilty to assaulting a child and has been sentenced to one year probation.

"You are lucky to say the least," United States District Court Eastern District of Virginia Magistrate Judge Ivan Davis, told Taylor calling her sentence, "lenient."

"I'm sincerely sorry for the pain or harm I may have caused," Taylor told the judge.

Prosecutors say video surveillance images reveal Taylor assaulting several different children between November 2013 and January 2014 at the day-care center at Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall in Arlington. While she was charged with assaulting four children, three charges were dropped in exchange for her guilty plea.

Taylor pleaded guilty to a Nov. 26, 2013 incident. Prosecutors say video of the incident shows her seated at a lunch table surrounded by 2-year-olds. When one of the children accidentally knocks a snack off the table, prosecutors say the tape shows Taylor, with an open hand, hitting the child on the head, 12 times.

"I was not trying to hurt or harm them in any way," Taylor said at her sentencing. "I made an error," she said.

Prosecutors say that none of Taylor's assaults appear to have caused children any physical injuries.

Under the terms of her guilty plea, Taylor has been sentenced to one year's probation. She's been fined $700 and must attend either anger management training or mental health counseling.

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