Two Sioux Falls daycare workers sentenced for abuse

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Two women are going to prison for five years in prison for abusing children at a Sioux Falls daycare. Teresa Gallagher and Kenedi Wendt were sentenced today in a Minnehaha County courtroom.

Although they went before the same judge on separate hearings, Gallagher and Wendt basically received the same sentences: five years in prison. The judge suspended their time for some other charges they faced.

It was an emotional day in court. Parents testified and explained how the treatment their children received has affected both their children’s and their own lives.

Teresa Gallagher and Kenedi Wendt faced dozens of counts of abuse or cruelty to a minor. They worked at Little Blessings Learning Center in Sioux Falls.

In March of 2018 a child complained to his mother about the daycare and reportedly told his parents a worker was banging his head on a mat while he slept.

The judge gave the two their sentences today saying this was a parent’s nightmare and the workers were placed in a position of trust.

Nearly a dozen parents took the stand today during both sentence hearings for the women. One saying the two were ‘partners in crime’ and another saying it was an ‘act of pure evil.’

“I think the parents all put it very eloquently that their children weren’t the same, there was some change that they observed and some of those changes were negated once these two people were no longer in their lives,” Abby Roesler- deputy states attorney.

Roesler says the sentencing will help the families move forward.

“I hope this is now a part where they can start the healing process for them as parents and with their children,” Roesler said.

Gallagher and Wendt were in charge of a room where 3 and 4-year-old children were expected to nap for two and half hours every day.

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