Daycare worker’s sentencing postponed

Published 4:44 pm Friday, September 16, 2022

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VIDALIA, La. — The sentencing of one of four former daycare workers who pleaded guilty to child abuse in June 2022 has been postponed again.

Taylor Ragonesi, 19, had been scheduled for sentencing Friday morning under the direction of Louisiana 7th Judicial District Judge Kathy Johnson.

However, her sentencing has been postponed by the judge, who had to postpone due to an unforeseen conflict, according to District Attorney Brad Burget’s office. A new date for the sentencing has not been set.

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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. All pled guilty to child abuse charges in June 2022.

On Sept. 7, the former owner of Noah’s Ark Lysa C. Richardson and two other employees, Bridget K. Delaughter and Julianne Perales, were sentenced. Ragonesi was granted a continuance after her attorney Derrick Carson told the judge that she was unaware of the scheduled sentencing until the morning of because of a mix-up in addresses.

Ragonesi was the first of the daycare workers to make a plea on June 1 and pleaded guilty to one count of child cruelty.

Lysa C. Richardson, the owner of the daycare facility, pleaded guilty to three counts of cruelty to a juvenile and was sentenced to seven years hard labor.

Delaughter pleaded guilty to three counts of cruelty to a juvenile and was sentenced to nine years hard labor.

Julianne Perales pleaded guilty to six counts of cruelty to a juvenile and was sentenced to 12 years hard labor. The first three counts run concurrently and the last three consecutively.

None of them are allowed to work at a childcare facility ever again, Johnson ordered.

Before the other three daycare workers were sentenced last week, Johnson called Ragonesi’s crime the worst of all of the offenders because she was in charge of caring for innocent children under a year old. Johnson said she saw Ragonesi on security video hitting the babies with an open hand and dragging them by their arms and legs.

“If I were to leave you alone in a room with these parents and let them do to you what you’ve done to these babies, you would be unrecognizable with all of the bruises,” Johnson said.