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Child care worker hit disabled teen, officials say

A former child care worker who state law enforcement authorities said repeatedly struck a teenager under her care late last year has been arraigned on child endangerment charges, officials said.

Lashea Jeffers, 27, of Hicksville, was arraigned Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead on charges of second-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent person, endangering the welfare of a child, third-degree attempted assault and harassment, according to court records and officials at the state Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.

Her bail was set at $1,000 cash or $2,000 bond, which Nassau jail officials said was posted that day. Court records show she has an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, which does not comment on pending cases.

Jeffers could not be reached for comment Friday. She is due back in court on June 23.

Prosecutors at the state Justice Center said Jeffers had “repeatedly struck a developmentally disabled youth” on Dec. 30 when she was employed at SCO Family of Services.

The human services agency operates several locations on Long Island but it was unclear where Jeffers had been based. Another employee at the facility reported the incident, officials said. Jeffers no longer works at the agency, according to state officials and SCO.

“The safety of the children in our care is our highest priority. When the incident occurred, Ms. Jeffers was immediately suspended and then terminated, and SCO contacted the appropriate authorities,” SCO spokeswoman Leslie Johnson said.

“Workers at facilities like SCO Family of Services are well trained and hard working,” Special Prosecutor Patricia Gunning said in a statement. “Those few who ignore their responsibilities and instead choose to abuse vulnerable New Yorkers, as this defendant is alleged to have done, should be held accountable. We are grateful to the staff member who brought the incident to light.”

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