A former pastor and a former daycare worker indicted last week on additional complicity of child abuse charges at First United Methodist Church daycare were arraigned in Christian Circuit Court Wednesday morning.
A grand jury returned superseding indictments last Friday for the former pastor at the church, Paige Williams, and former daycare employee Abby Leach, charging them with eight counts of first-degree complicity of criminal abuse of a child 12 or under. They were previously indicted in August 2019 on one count of first-degree complicity of criminal abuse of a child under 12.
Leach’s defense attorney Ben Fletcher and Williams’ attorney William Deatherage entered not guilty pleas and accepted the criminal summons on behalf of their clients.
Chief Circuit Judge John Atkins said because of the superseding indictments he was granting the motions to postpone the upcoming trial.
He then asked Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Boling if a resolution had been reached with the other two defendants in this case, Allison Simpson and Nina Morgan, or if they were going to trial.
Judge Atkins set a deadline for the cases to be resolved by May 26th.
According to the superseding indictments, Williams and Leach “intentionally breached their legal duty to protect” eight minors less than 13-months old from a situation that might cause “serious physical injury, torture, cruel confinement or cruel punishment at the hands of Allison Simpson and Nina Morgan.”
Simpson was indicted in April 2019 and faces thirty counts of first-degree criminal abuse of a child under 12-years old, and Nina Morgan was indicted on two counts of first-degree criminal abuse of a child under 12.