JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The former director of The Kids Nest Learning Center in Brunswick went back to jail Thursday after allegedly slapping a three-year-old girl at the day care earlier this month.
Manjeet Grant, 49, is being held on $10,000 bond on charges of cruelty to children in the first and third degrees.
On March 15, Grant was arrested and charged with battery for allegedly slapping the toddler, Londyn Mitchell, at the day care. She bonded out the same day.
According to the police report, Grant allegedly slapped the girl "across the face … knocking her to the ground," that description from a teacher who witnessed the incident.
Thursday, Londyn's mother, Shay Lee, argued for the judge to bring additional charges on grant in a warrant application hearing that Lee requested. When the girl’s mother told the story before the court, people in the gallery gasped.
Grant's husband, the owner of the day care, testified on his wife's behalf saying he immediately fired her and took away her shares in the company. He also said he contacted Lee the day of the incident and apologized, but realized it didn’t excuse what happened.
Cassandra Patterson, an employee at the day care, also testified on Grant’s behalf. She said the little girl was brought to her the day of the incident shortly afterwards, and she didn’t see any marks on her.
She also said she never saw Manjeet Grant hurt any other child.
Grant's attorney argued the hearing was premature since police are still investigating the incident.
Judge R. Flay Cabiness disagreed, and found probable cause to charge Grant with cruelty to children in the first and third degrees.
"I was nervous because I wanted justice, but in the end, I'm pretty grateful for what she has gotten, cruelty to children in the first degree, so that's a start," Lee said.
“That’s what I wanted and that's what I prayed for and I got it," Lee said.
Grant’s attorney, Adrienne Browning, told First Coast News, “we didn’t agree with the judge’s ruling, but we respect it. It’s a very low standard [for first degree].”
She added she thinks Grant will be cleared of all charges.
Grant's husband also added in his testimony that the day care had 11 children stop attending since the incident, but also gained some, and have 124 at the moment.
"I've gotten numerous messages from parents stating that there have been marks on their kids as well, and basically, the kids can't speak for themselves and it seems like it took me for people to come out and say, 'oh I had suspicions,'" Lee said.
Another parent from the day care also argued her case at a warrant application hearing after Lee's for similar charges against Grant relating to her son.
The judge didn't find probable cause in that case.
As far as the other battery charge is concerned, Glynn County police are still investigating the incident.
The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning opened up an investigation into the day care following the incident.