Parents recount long road to no-contest plea for former child care provider in abuse case
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former childcare provider accused of assault in a military child abuse case pleaded no contest Wednesday and will avoid a criminal trial.
When HNN Investigates contacted the Navy, the city prosecutor and HPD in May about the case, two women were charged with misdemeanor crimes an hour and a half later.
On Wednesday, one of them made the no-contest plea.
HNN met Isabella and her parents earlier this year at Ford Island. She’s now 2 1/2.
She and her military family live in Kansas.
Since then, a child abuse investigation at the Child Development Center on Ford Island, which is part of Child Youth Programs run by the Navy, led to a criminal case.
Former child care worker Analyn DeGuzman faced a third-degree assault charge. On Wednesday, she pleaded no contest.
The misdemeanor carries a maximum one year in prison and a $2,000 fine.
The public defender has also asked for a deferred acceptance for DeGuzman, which could wipe her record clean. Sentencing is scheduled for January.
“We are relieved for sure,” said Army Capt. Jeremy Kuykendall. He watched hours of surveillance video taken from the child care center.
“I believe they focused on some of the hits that she received, including to her head, but the bigger trend is there’s lots of pinches. There’s hits, there’s shaking,” said Kuykendall.
“At one point, shoved our family photo into her face out of anger,” he added.
The Kuykendalls say Isabella is under a doctor’s care after the trauma last year.
“The pediatrician out here has feared to me that Isabella could be suffering from a traumatic brain injury and we are going to have her seen by a neurologist,” said Kate Kuykendall.
“She is the sweetest girl, but she has not gotten back the glow in her eyes,” she said.
The defense for a second defendant, Marilyn Kanekoa, is trying to get her case dismissed.
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