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Former Daycare worker has history of abuse allegations

WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:

Earlier this week, Kelli Walker faced a judge again on allegations she assaulted young children at the Sunshine House in Mt. Pleasant.

Walker was originally arrested in July for allegedly hitting a child and throwing her against a wall. On Monday, Walker was given a $50,000 bond on charges that she force fed a 5-year-old boy until he gagged. She was charged with unlawful conduct towards a child.

But, those two incidents are the only allegations Walker has faced.

News 2 has uncovered that Walker was accused of similar cases of abuse back in 2012. Then, Walker was working with the Headstart Program in Hanahan.  According to a police report obtained by News 2, Walker was accused of dragging a child across the room and hitting another on the forehead.

Lt. Michael Fowler with the Hanahan Police Department said that Walker was fired from that job, so the families never pressed charges against her.

The CEO for the Sunshine House tells News 2 that all potential employees undergo a series of background checks before getting hired. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is called in to perform background checks and other tests to make sure none of their teachers have a past history of abuse.

News 2 asked the Hanahan police how it was possible for Walker to be hired given her past history of abuse allegations. Officials said because charges were never filed, a background check would not show anything.

According to a background check obtained by News 2, the only charges that appear are in regards to these most recent incidents. There is in fact no mention of previous allegations.

South Carolina law also places a limit on how much information employers can give to other businesses looking to hire. In this case, the Sunshine House was allowed to ask the Head Start Program details on how long Walker was employed.

But, according to SC Statute 41-1-65, the Sunshine House could not obtain information on written evaluations, job performance records and the circumstances surrounding why Walker left the Head Start Program, unless it provided a written statement to the Berkeley County school.

We reached out to a spokesperson with SLED. He tells News 2 that he is looking into how Walker's background information was reported to the Sunshine House.

Walker is currently out of jail on a $50,000 bond. Sunshine House officials said Walker was terminated on July 29.

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