• Lincoln County daycare worker guilty of misdemeanor child abuse

    By: Ken Lemon

    Updated:

    LINCOLNTON, NC - A Lincolnton woman who worked at a children’s academy daycare in Denver was found guilty of one count of misdemeanor child abuse Thursday in Lincoln County District Court.

    The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office charged Rebecca Nicole DeGregory with misdemeanor child abuse in April.

    Deputies said it happened at the Mini Academy Daycare Center on Unity Church Road in Denver on March 21.

    The child's mother said the daycare called her and said another child had pulled her daughter's hair, but the child was okay. Several hours later, a staff member called back and said surveillance video actually showed 23-year-old DeGregory pulling the child's hair.

    Rebecca Nicole DeGregory (image courtesy Lincoln County Sheriff's Office)

    DeGregory was suspended and then fired by the daycare owner.

    Channel 9 also learned the DeGregory works as vice president of children's programming at the Lincoln Theatre Guild.

    One parent sent a text with a message for leaders of the guild.

    "Our children's safety should take precedence over all else," the text read.

    "We don't want anyone to ever feel their kids are in danger when they come to the arts council or the cultural center," said Roger Calhoun, president of the Lincoln Arts Council.

    DeGregory was sentenced to 60 days in jail, which was suspended and she was given 18 months of unsupervised probation.

    The Lincoln Theatre Guild sent Channel 9 the following statement after the news broke:

    "The Lincoln Theatre Guild believes Rebecca DeGregory is innocent until proven guilty. We’ve known Rebecca most of her life and do not believe her capable of this."

    On April 4, the Lincoln Cultural Center followed up with the statement below:

    "Due to the unfortunate circumstances, pending the outcome of the charges against Rebecca DeGregory, we must suspend her involvement at the Lincoln Cultural Center and/or with our member groups."

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