Florida caregiver abused 12-year-old disabled boy, police say

Police said on Monday that a Daytona Beach, Florida, caregiver faces battery and child abuse that she abused a Port Orange, Florida, boy who has a genetic condition.

The boy's mother called police Friday to say she believes Julie Carter, 63, was abusing the 12-year-old boy, police said.

According to police, Carter works at Maxim Health Care and has been taking care of the boy for three years. They said boy was diagnosed with COACH Syndrome and requires 24-hour supervision because he doesn't speak, move on his own or care for himself, police said.

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Authorities said the boy’s mother said she reviewed surveillance video and saw Carter strike, grab, kick and push the boy during a four-hour period.

Police said the video also showed Carter asleep while the boy was facedown on the floor next to her, police said. Another video showed Carter being rough while she changed his diaper. Several other videos showed Carter slap the boy several times, police said.

Port Orange police interviewed Carter, who said she watches the boy for four hours Tuesday through Friday and every other Saturday and Monday, police said.

Investigators showed Carter the video of the alleged abuse and she said the boy was difficult throughout the night, but said she didn’t think she was being rough with him.

Carter faces charges of child abuse and battery.

Police said the boy did not have any visible injuries.

Carter told WFTV she has yet to speak with an attorney, so she would rather not say anything at this time.

"We are deeply troubled by these allegations," Maxim Health Care spokeswoman Rebecca Kirkham said in a statement. "The employee, who has worked as a certified nursing assistant since May 2013, was immediately suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation. We will continue to lend our full cooperation to the local authorities as they investigate this matter.

“The care and safety of our patients is our highest priority and we take the trust they place in us very seriously. In accordance with our standard practices, a comprehensive background check was conducted on this employee before she was hired and there was nothing in these reports that gave us cause for concern.”

Carter worked for Maxim for five years. She has been suspended.

A spokesperson with the Department of Health issued the following statement about Carter's license:

“Any time that we discover that a licensed practitioner has been arrested, we monitor the situation for a conviction. We also look into the actions that led to the arrest to see if there are any violations where the department has regulatory authority.

“I cannot say whether or not the department receives a complaint or plans to take action against any practitioner until 10 days after probable cause is found,” the spokesperson said. “This is established by Florida Statute 456.073. If the department receives a complaint and it rises to the level of probable cause being found, then I can provide that information. However, if the department receives a complaint and does not find sufficient information (probable cause) to further investigate the complaint, then the complaint would never be public record.”

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