Charges issued in stunning metro east daycare discipline case

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EAST ST. LOUIS – A teacher and a teacher`s aide from an SIUE Early Headstart Program are facing felonies after they allegedly had two young children stand in a closet naked for punishment.

The official charges came down Wednesday afternoon.

The daycare where this all allegedly happened rents space at the Jackie Joyner Kersee Center in East St. Louis but the Center itself is not involved in the case.

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, or SIUE, runs the program.

The facility is called the SIUE East St. Louis Early Headstart Program.

27-year-old Mary Agbehia from Edwardsville, who was a teacher, and 41-year-old Shavonda Willis from Fairview Heights, who was a teacher`s aide, both face one count of aggravated battery and one count of unlawful restraint.

The women are charged with making two five-year-old boys each stand alone in a closet naked at the daycare as a form of discipline.

One of the unlawful restraints allegedly happened on March 13th; the other between February 1st and March 13th.

The aggravated battery charge against Agbehia accuses her of taking off the shirt of one of the boys.

The aggravated battery count against Willis charges her placing an object against the skin of a three-year-old girl and pretending to give her an injection.

The case broke when another child told his mom about what was happening.

Bond for Agbehia and Willis was set at $5,000 each.

They are not yet in custody.

Both are currently on paid leave from the program.

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