Daycare worker facing child abuse charge scheduled for sentencing on Friday morning
Published 11:41 am Thursday, October 6, 2022
VIDALIA, La. — The last of four former daycare workers who pleaded guilty to child abuse in June 2022 has been scheduled for sentencing on Friday, Oct. 7, at 9:30 a.m., according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Louisiana 7th Judicial District Judge Kathy Johnson will do the sentencing, which had been postponed due to Johnson’s medical leave.
Taylor Ragonesi, 20, was the only one of four daycare workers who wasn’t sentenced on Sept. 7. Attorney Derrick Carson asked Johnson for a continuance and said Ragonesi was unaware of the sentencing date because the court did not have her correct address to send her notice.
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Carson also said there is additional defending evidence that could affect Ragonesi’s sentencing that wasn’t prepared because she wasn’t notified in time.
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 the first of the daycare workers to make a plea on June 1 and pleaded guilty to one count of child cruelty.
Richardson 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.
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.
During the sentence of the other three workers, Ragonesi’s face filled with tears. When she was given the opportunity to speak, Ragonesi apologized for any harm she’d caused.
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.