Three women are charged with brutalizing children as Robins Air Force Base childcare employees. Photo by Edward Aspera.
A day care facility on an Air Force base in Georgia was a house of abuse and horror for children, according to a federal indictment handed down Tuesday, Oct. 11.
Children at a Robins Air Force Base child care facility, the indictment alleges, were forced to fight one another, slapped, thrown to the floor out of beds, and sprayed in the face with cleaning solution by two women who worked there in January and February 2021, while the facility's director did nothing to stop it.
A federal grand jury returned a 30-count indictment charging two former employees and the former director of a day care facility on Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia, related to the alleged abuse of children in their care.
A child development center on a Marine Corps base. Nearly all US military facilities have daycare centers. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jonah Lovy.
Both Zhanay Kiana Flynn, 27, of Centerville, Georgia, and Antanesha Mone Fritz, 29, of Tanner, Alabama, face 18 counts of cruelty to children in the first degree and a slew of lesser charges.
Latona Mae Lambert, 51, of Kissimmee, Florida, is charged with one count of failure to report suspected child abuse.
All face 20-year sentences if convicted.
A Department of Justice release details an array of violent acts and intentional brutality toward children inside the Air Force facility.
The charges allege that Flynn and Fritz struck children, caused children to fight and hit one another, seized and shook a child while threatening to strike them, hit a child in the head with a book, kicked a child into a wall, and stepped on a child and applied weights to a child’s leg.
The two women are also accused of lifting a cot with a child sleeping on it, causing the child to fall on the ground, striking a toy out of a child’s hand and then forcing the child into a small enclosure, and spraying two children in the head and face with a cleaning solution.
All three women also faces charges for not reporting suspected abuse.
A release from the Justice Department said the case is being investigated by the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations and Air Force Security Forces, with support from the FBI.
An email to Robins Air Force Base seeking comment on the charges was not immediately returned.
Robins, located just outside of Macon, Georgia, has at least three day care facilities, according to Militarychildcare.com, the online enrollment service military families use to find child care. Two offer care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, while the third offers places for school-age children.
It was unclear where exactly the women worked, though the DOJ called them "former Robins Air Force Base daycare employees."
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Matt White is a former senior editor for Coffee or Die Magazine. He was a pararescueman in the Air Force and the Alaska Air National Guard for eight years and has more than a decade of experience in daily and magazine journalism.
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