Kimberly Hignite was supposed to be babysitting three children when she sexually abused them.
According to WFLA, Hignite was running an unlicensed day care out of her White Road, Ohio home when the abuse took place.
As The Columbus Dispatch reports, Franklin County Prosecutors say the three children abused by Hignite were 3 years old, 5 years old, and 11 years old. The abuse took place between February 2011 and May 23, 2019.
However, at least 23 children were under Hignite’s care during that time.
The children told prosecutors that the 51-year-old forced them into sexual touching. According to two of the children, Hignite called it the “Silly Private Game.”
On July 25, 2018, Hignite was charged with 17 counts of endangering children. She was also charged with five counts of gross sexual imposition.
Hignite later pleaded guilty to the endangering children charges after the charges of gross sexual imposition were dropped. According to The Columbus Dispatch, she had previously pleaded not guilty.
None of the children testified in court. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said of that decision:
“The victims’ families thought it would be counterproductive to the welfare of the sexual assault victims to testify in the case.”
Melanie Rawlins, a mother to two of the children who attended Hignite’s day care told The Columbus Dispatch following the sentencing hearing:
“I trusted her words, which is something I will never forgive myself for.”
Another mother testified in court saying:
“A game that Miss Kim forced them to play using a tan and blue game board with pictures of private parts and a red spinner. Your Honor, the sound of my autistic son and little girl being able to describe what that grown woman’s vagina looks like and feels like is something we regrettably will never be able to forget, and honestly something that I can never forgive.”
On July 15, the former day care owner learned her fate. She was sentenced to just 30 days in jail for her crimes.
The judge presiding over the hearing said to Hignite:
“I certainly understand the pain of the families in this case, the seriousness of the trust that is placed upon day cares, the impact day cares have on the children. The court hopes again that the families are successful in overcoming the harm that has been done in this case.”
She will serve out her sentence in a private jail in Richland County.