Update: Sentencing underway in Vidalia daycare child abuse case

Published 5:11 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Updated 5:53 p.m.

Lysa C. Richardson, owner of the daycare facility, pleaded guilty to three counts of abuse and was sentenced to three years on the first count; two years on the second; and two years on the third count, to run consecutively for seven years. She is banned from working at or owning a daycare.

Updated 5:20 p.m.

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Bridget K. Delaughter pleaded guilty to six counts of abuse and was sentenced to three years on each count, with the first three sentences to be served concurrently and the last three consecutively, for a total of 12 years hard labor.  She also was ordered to never work in a daycare facility again.

Updated 5:16 p.m.

Julianne Perales was sentenced to three years per count on six counts of abuse, with three of the sentences to be served consecutively and three concurrently. She will face a total of 12 years in prison.

Posted, 5:15 p.m.

VIDALIA, La. – Sentencing is underway this afternoon in the case of a former daycare owner and three former employees charged with child abuse.

In October 2021, a Louisiana State Police investigation of child cruelty allegations involving Noah’s Ark Christian Childcare in Vidalia resulted in the daycare’s closing and ended with the arrest of the three daycare employees and the owner.

Lysa C. Richardson, the owner, and three former employees, Bridget K. Delaughter, Julianne Perales and Taylor Ragonesi, pleaded guilty in June to charges of cruelty to a juvenile. Richardson pleaded guilty to three counts; Delaughter pleaded guilty to three counts; Perales pleaded guilty to six counts; and Ragonesi pleaded guilty to one count.

Louisiana 7th Judicial District Judge Kathy Johnson is overseeing the court proceedings.

As of 5:15 p.m., Johnson had authorized a continuance in Ragonesi’s sentencing until Sept. 16. The defendant’s attorney said a mixup in addresses left her unaware of the hearing date until Wednesday.

Testimony during the sentencing included statements from Concordia Parish Sheriff David Hedrick and parents.

We will continue to update this article as information is made available.