Lawsuit alleges Allegheny County childcare center ignored former employee’s abuse of children

A Moon Township child care center and former employee are being sued by three families who claim their children were improperly punished and the daycare failed to report it.

Carol Leone Dance, Gymnastics and Child Care at 551 Thorn Run Road, and a former employee, Rebecca Leon of Coraopolis, are named as defendants in the lawsuit, filed this week in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. The lawsuit includes claims for assault and battery, and negligence.

The plaintiffs claim as a form of punishment, Leon, in two separate incidents, pulled down two children’s pants and underwear and exposed them to classmates and other caregivers.

The plaintiffs also claim Leon spanked a child and flipped over a child’s cot while he was on it, knocking him to the ground and giving him a black eye.

The suit alleges another employee reported Leon’s behavior and management refused to acknowledge it unless another witness came forward. They claim management framed the issues as a dispute between Leon and another staff member.

The families withdrew their children and reported the allegations to Moon Township police and ChildLine. The suit alleges Leon was then fired.

Charges of assault and harassment were filed against Leon. Court documents show she pleaded guilty to a harassment charge in March.

The lawsuit claims the defendants incurred damages including medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Channel 11 has reached out to Carol Leone Dance, Gymnastics and Child Care and attorney William Stockey, who represented Leon in her criminal case.

On WPXI Tonight at 11 p.m., how the community is responding.