Day care owner arrested, accused of grabbing child in her care

A California day care owner is charged with child abuse and accused of grabbing one of the children in her care. (KCRA, RACHEL RAYA, SUTTER COUNTY SHERIFF, CNN)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 7:31 AM MDT
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YUBA CITY, Calif. (KCRA) - A California day care owner is charged with child abuse and accused of grabbing one of the children in her care.

“It’s every mom’s worst fear that they’re going to put their kid in day care and they’re going to get hurt,” Samantha Merryman said.

Merryman said that is exactly what happened with her 3-year-old son Sebastian last week.

“It was hard. It was really hard. He’s my lil’ baby,” she said.

Merryman didn’t want to show her face on camera but still wanted to share her story and the images of her son.

“This is the bruise from the handprint of her grabbing his arm,” she said, showing a photo of the back of her son’s arm.

Merryman said it happened at a day care that the owner Rachel Raya is licensed to run out it of her home in Yuba City, California.

She said her son told her Raya had caused the bruise.

“And like my heart instantly dropped and I started to shake, and I got nauseous,” Merryman said. “And I was like, ‘What?’ And he said, ‘Miss Rachel did it.’”

Merryman said that when she confronted Raya, she admitted to grabbing him.

“She was instantly in tears, and she was like, ‘I don’t know what to do, I’m so scared.’ And I was like, ‘You did it, didn’t you?’ And she’s like ‘Yes.’”

Merryman said Raya told her she had lost her temper. Merryman said Raya told her Sebastian was playing with a toy and had rammed it into her fireplace.

“And she lost her temper and grabbed him by the arm. And then he fell and hit his head on the fireplace,” she said.

Raya was arrested Wednesday for child abuse and released on bail the next day.

When approached by KCRA to speak about the incident, Raya declined.

Merryman, however, is determined to get her message out.

“I want her license revoked and I want her in jail for what she did,” she said.

The Sutter County District Attorney’s Office said Raya’s charged with misdemeanor child abuse and will be in court for her arraignment on Oct. 17.