Glastonbury daycare director sentenced to 150 days in jail for not reporting child abuse

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GLASTONBURY -- The former director of the Stork Club daycare in Glastonbury will spend the next 150 days in jail.

Meegan Beach was sentenced to four years, suspended after 150 days, after one of her employees allegedly abused children and she did nothing about it.

Beach, 40, of Hebron was charged with two counts each of failure to report child abuse and risk of injury to a minor. She cannot work in child care again and has to perform 100 hours of community service, the judge ordered in Manchester Superior Court Thursday.

Beach and her co-defendant Nicole Mayo were both arrested in March 2016.

nicole-mayoMayo, 22, of Wethersfield, is accused of hitting, restraining, force-feeding and roughly handling several 2-year-olds at The Stork Club daycare center on New London Turnpike over the last year.

Mayo's case is still pending. She faces three counts of risk of injury to a minor and disorderly conduct.

According to police, Beach never notified the Department of Children and Families or authorities about the ongoing abuse, which she is mandated to do by state law. Police also say that several other employees told Beach about Mayo's abusive behavior towards the kids, but that she didn't do anything about it.

Before sentencing, the judge heard from attorneys representing the young victims and one of the victims' mothers.

Wilder Zandonella, whose then two year old was allegedly force fed until he gagged and hit over the head by Mayo, told the judge her family is still affected by it a year later. Beach admitted she was aware of these allegations.

"The pain and suffering we have faced could have been avoided had she made the right decision to report the abuse that had been reported to her. She had a professional, moral and ethical responsibility to protect our child and she selfishly chose not to," said Zandonella in a prepared statement she read in court.

Her attorney Christopher Mattei said, "a deliberate choice was made to ignore child abuse."

Beach's defense attorney Richard Conti argued she should not serve jail time because she has already "paid dearly for this incident." He said she's lost income and her reputation.

Conti said, "This is so completely out of character with the way that she has conducted her life. It's just hard to imagine."

The judge said he's not worried Beach will re-offend. But he said she has to face consequences for what she did or in this case what she failed to do. The judge said he hopes this sentence will deter other mandatory reporters from being tempted to do the same.

Conti did not wish to comment to FOX61 about the judge's sentencing decision.

Rudy Moreno, an attorney representing another young victim, told FOX61, "We're glad she's going to serve some time and hopefully she comes out a better woman at the end of the road."