No jail time​ for male day care worker posing as female who molested baby while changing diaper — for now

News & Politics

A male day care worker who claims to be female and who was caught molesting a baby will likely not have to serve jail time for his crime.

As Blaze News previously reported, in November 2022, the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services received an anonymous tip that Mark Childers, a man claiming to be a woman named Maria, had molested a baby while changing a diaper at Explore Learning Academy in Paducah, Kentucky, a city of about 30,000 people in the western area of the state, just south of the Illinois border. Childers also made inappropriate comments during the incident, the tipster said.

Last February, investigators followed up on that tip. When they spoke with Childers’ co-workers at Explore Learning, they learned the extent of Childers’ despicable behavior during the diaper change.

According to witness testimony, a co-worker had asked Childers to assist with the diaper change. As he was cleaning the baby’s genitals, the co-worker noticed that the baby began to show signs of distress. The co-worker asked whether Childers might be hurting the baby.

Childers then began rubbing the baby’s genitals in a “circular motion,” the witness claimed. He then reportedly told his co-worker, “[T]hat was her clit area and she likes it. It just made her day.”

When confronted with the evidence against him, Childers told police that witnesses had taken some of his statements “out of context.” The director at Explore Learning, who admitted she knew about the allegations against him, told investigators she had written him up.

Co-workers also claimed that Childers had left children in their high-chairs for “hours” without care, Reduxx reported.

Childers was soon afterward arrested and charged with one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a victim under 12 and three counts of first-degree criminal abuse of a child under 12. He was booked into McCracken County Jail as a male and assessed a $100,000 bond.

At that point, Childers hired a lawyer, and circumstances quickly changed in his favor. Madison Leach, a male lawyer and activist who began identifying as a woman seven years ago, eventually persuaded a court to reduce Childers’ bond to just $5,000 surety, so long as he had no contact with children or with Explore Learning. His gender designation at the jail was also quietly changed to female.

Childers was released last month. He then entered into a plea agreement that not only dropped the three criminal abuse of a child charges in exchange for his guilty plea but that reduced the first-degree sexual abuse charge to sexual misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor.

Judge Joseph Roark gave Childers a 12-month suspended sentence and issued a conditional six-month discharge instead. Should Childers abide by all of the conditions listed in his plea agreement for six months, he will not have to serve jail time and may have his record cleared, Reduxx claimed.

Reduxx also tweeted that “it does not appear that Childers will be required to register as a sex offender.” The outlet is still working to confirm that information.

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