Taipei, The former manager of a daycare center in New Taipei and two caregivers on Wednesday were given prison sentences ranging from eight to 16 months, after they were found guilty of abusing six toddlers two years ago.
In the New Taipei District Court case, Hsia Hui-chuan (夏惠娟), manager of Yu Hsin Daycare Center (淯薪) was sentenced to 9 months in prison, while employees Chiang Pei-jou (江珮柔) and Chen Hui-ting (陳慧婷) were given eight and 16 months, respectively.
The sentences are commutable to fines, and the ruling can still be appealed, according to the court.
In its ruling, the court said the three caregivers were supposed to be experts in early childhood education but they physically abused young children, which could result in trauma.
According to the court, the three defendants reached settlements with the parents of two of the six toddlers. The court said it therefore decided not to grant the defendants suspended sentences, as they had sought.
The child-abuse case was first made public in January 2019 when the parents of the six children held a press conference to present a video as recorded evidence of the alleged abuse.
In the surveillance camera footage, which was leaked by a former employee of the center, one caregiver can be seen shaking a toddler roughly.
The video also showed another caregiver hitting a screaming toddler on the feet with a wooden spatula, and a third caregiver beating and forcing a small child into a cupboard.
Following the release of the camera footage, New Taipei prosecutors and Social Welfare Department launched separate investigations into the case.
The department later fined Hsia, Chiang and Chen NT$140,000 (US$4,928) each and publicized their names. The daycare center, meanwhile, was fined NT$300,000 and its operating license suspended for a year.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel