Three former employees charged with child cruelty at Noah’s Ark Daycare in Vidalia began pretrial hearings today (Wednesday).

Taylor Ragonesi, 19, a former worker, pleaded guilty June 1 to cruelty to a juvenile and is awaiting sentencing. She was originally charged with three counts of cruelty to a juvenile.

Julianne N. Porales, Lysa Richardson and Bridget Delaughter are separately going through pretrial proceedings.

Porales, 27, of Fayette, Miss. was charged with 11 counts of cruelty to juveniles by Concordia Parish Sheriff’s office.

Richardson, of Vidalia, was 34 when she was arrested for three counts of cruelty to juveniles. She was the owner of the daycare.

Delaughter, of Vidalia, was charged with four counts of cruelty to juveniles. Delaughter was 34 when she was arrested.

The trio’s trail date is scheduled for August 1, according to 7th Judicial District Attorney Brad Burget, whose office is prosecuting the case.

According to Louisiana law, a person convicted of cruelty to juveniles, “shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than ten years, or both.”

Cruelty to juveniles as defined by Louisiana law is “the intentional or criminally negligent mistreatment or neglect by anyone seventeen years of age or older of any child under the age of seventeen whereby unjustifiable pain or suffering is caused to said child.”

Charges stem from an October 2021 CPSO investigation into a complaint involving a 14-month old male who had been struck on the back while being cared for at the Vidalia facility.

After receiving the complaint, security footage was obtained from Noah’s Ark Daycare, revealing a worker excessively strike the child numerous times, as well as two additional one-year-old children, according to CPSO reports.

A search warrant was obtained, at which time the DVR hard drive was seized from the location, according to CPSO reports. As part of the investigation, all digital evidence stored on the DVR was analyzed, which revealed numerous instances of children being struck excessively on different parts of the body including the face, mouth and head, as well as several employees striking the children with wooden paint sticks.

Louisiana State Police assisted in the investigation.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.