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Supreme Court Case: 23-Year-Old Wee Care Nursery School

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Facts In April of 1985, upon taking the temperature of a 4-year-old boy using a rectal thermometer during an examination at a doctor’s office, the child said to the nurse, “That’s what my teacher does to me at nap time at school.” The nurse, then, reported her suspicions of abuse to law enforcement. This led to a two-month long investigation, during which the police, along with social workers, interviewed other children at the Wee Care Nursery School of St. George 's Episcopal Church in Maplewood, New Jersey. Police and social workers uncovered allegations of 23-year-old Wee Care teacher, Kelly Michaels, forcing children to lick peanut butter off of her genitals and penetrating their vagina and anus with kitchen utensils. Authorities came to the conclusion that Michaels abused 51 students that were under her care at the nursery school. Regardless of Kelly’s denial of the allegations, she faced three indictments, totaling 235 counts. The jury trial began on June 22, 1987 and went to the jury for deliberation 9 months later. There were initially 131 counts pending, ranging from aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and making terroristic threats. After…show more content…
The Supreme Court stated that “the interviews of the children were highly improper and utilized coercive and unduly suggestive methods.” The prosecution chose not to retry the case, resulting in the charges against Wee Care Nursery School teacher, Kelly Michael, being dropped. As a result, Michaels filed a lawsuit against the prosecution, claiming that they violated her constitutional rights by persuading the children to give false testimony against her. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear her case. Regardless, Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, stating that the Court’s decision “…leaves victims of egregious prosecutorial misconduct without a
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