Parents face former day care worker accused of abusing their children

A group of parents stood up and faced a former day care worker who is accused of abusing their children for nearly a year.

Former Bright Horizons worker Marie Millette was back in Hingham courtroom Thursday afternoon where angry parents asked a judge to send her to jail. Millette is accused of abusing eight children for nearly a year while she worked at Bright Horizons day care in Hingham and is facing a long list of accusations including force-feeding, shaking, and other abusive behavior.

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"It hurts me to my core and it makes me sick to my stomach to know when I thought I was leaving my child in the best possible care, I was actually subjecting her to abuse, and it was all happening under my nose," said parent Maraky Zewdu.

According to court documents, a witness saw "Millette force feed these children by spraying the bottle into their mouths... the children would sometimes cry, spit out the milk, or vomit."

"I heard today for the first time that my son's mouth was covered. Judge, that's a heinous act to cover a child's mouth," said parent John Hightower.

In another incident, a co-worker said, "Millette picked up [a child] and put her hand over her mouth while trying to get to her sleep... when told to stop because [the child] couldn't breathe, Millette laughed and stated she 'can breathe' out of her nose."

Millette was fired from Bright Horizons in November 2016. Her attorney argued that none of the abuse resulted in physical injuries and asked for his client to be sentenced to two years probation.

The parents, however, want to see her serve jail time.

"It makes me sick there's no remorse. Probation is simply not enough. It's just a slap on the wrist," said Zewdu.

"The court should send a message to those out there that you cannot be in a day care facility surrounded by your co-workers committing these types of acts against children, and then if you're caught, expect to simply get probation," said Hightower.

Millette will be back in court on November 16 for a pretrial hearing.

The parents in court Thursday tell Boston 25 News they're taking civil action against Bright Horizons.