Suspect in daycare abuse case getting public defender

A woman indicted in connection with alleged child abuse at the First United Methodist Church Daycare has requested representation from a public defender.

A pre-trial conference was set Wednesday in Christian Circuit Court for Allison Simpson and Judge John Atkins granted her request to be assigned an attorney from the department of public advocacy after her previous attorney requested to be allowed to withdraw from the case.

Simpson, who formerly worked at the daycare, is indicted on 30 counts of criminal child abuse. All 30 counts are alleged to have happened between December 19 of 2018 and January 18 of last year. Eleven of the counts are against the same infant and a total of eight children are listed as victims in all of the allegations.

All of the counts allege Simpson placed the victims “in a situation that may cause serious physical injury, causing torture, cruel confinement or cruel punishment.”

Former daycare director Abby Leach and former pastor Paige Williams are charged with complicity to child abuse and another former worker—Nina Morgan—is charged with two counts of criminal child abuse.

Indictments against Rev. Williams and Leach allege they ‘intentionally breached their legal duty to protect’ seven children under the age of 13 months by failing to prevent Simpson from intentionally abusing those children.