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Mom Talks About Alleged Abuse At Casino Day Care

(WCCO) The mother of a toddler that was allegedly physically and sexually assaulted by a 9-year-old child is speaking out.

It’s been nearly a year since the alleged incident happened at Grand Casino Mille Lacs.

It apparently took place here in the Kids Quest child care center owned by New Horizons.

A pending lawsuit is stalled because of a dispute over a key piece of evidence.

“When they brought him I was mortified. He was beaten head to toe,” said the victim’s mother, who wants to remain anonymous to protect her son’s identity.

She recalls the shock she felt after seeing her 3-year-old son that she left for about an hour and a half at Kids Quest while she had a birthday dinner to go to.

“He had bruising on his cheeks, on his neck. He had a ruptured blood vessel in his eye, a scratch along his eye,” she said. All of that happened allegedly at the hands of an older boy.

“Sick to my stomach that a 9-year-old could beat my son to that degree,” said the victim’s mom.

The day after the apparent abuse the doctor had more distressing news.

“He had assaulted him sexually. And so they immediately did tests, called Mille Lacs Police,” said the victim’s mom.

The physical abuse was captured on surveillance tape.

“It shows what looks to be an older child maybe rough housing a little bit too hard with a younger child,” said Rjay Brunkow, the Mille Lacs Band Solicitor General.

Security reports written after reviewing the tape said the 9-year-old boy kicked the toddler in the face, threw him to floor, held him there then carried him to the top of the gym into the tunnel.

“It’s not a see through tunnel,” said Brunkow.

That’s where the alleged sexual assault took place.

“In every jurisdiction in the state on Minnesota — if you aren’t on tribal land — you have the right as a victim of a crime to get a copy of a video tape that the police have obtained,” said Rich Ruohonen, the victim’s attorney.

However the Mille Lacs Band will only turn over the tape to the boy’s attorney if they “write the band a letter saying if the band were named as a defendant in the lawsuit, that the video tape would not be used against the band,” said Brunkow.

“It would be irresponsible of me as a lawyer, in representing my clients, to agree to that without at least seeing it,” said Ruohonen.

Meantime a distraught mother copes with a traumatized child

“Since this, he’s a completely different boy. He lashes out at myself, my mother, but my daughter is the main focus of his aggression,” said the victim’s mom. “I just wish they’d give us the tape to understand what my son went through.”

The boy’s attorney could plead his case before a tribal judge. That judge would then decide if he could have the tape.

The attorney said he’ll do that as a last resort. The casino day care where this happened is now closed.

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