Thursday, April 18, 2013
Goose Creek Municipal Court by Judge Dale E. Van Slambrook ruled on April 9 that charges against Colette Crawford would be dropped, according to a statement from Van Slambrook’s attorney, Paul Thurmond.
Crawford is the owner of Just for Kids, and was exonerated after the sole witness, a 6-year-old minor, was not capable of giving competent testimony, Thurmond said. Because there was no corroborating testimony or evidence, the judge ruled that the case must be dismissed.
Crawford was arrested and charged with assault and battery third degree involving one of the children under her care in February.
After the ruling, Crawford issued the following statement: “I am grateful that the judge made the appropriate ruling and I am pleased to see our judicial system work. I have been in the business of childcare for over 14 years and have never dealt with this type of accusation.
“I insisted on a quick jury trial and appreciate the town’s willingness to allow for me to have my day in court. More than anything, I am extremely grateful the 20-plus families who have their children in our daycare continued to stand by me and keep their children enrolled. They knew this accusation was false and their actions show their trust in me.
“Finally, I want to make it clear that I hold no ill will towards the minor child, as his wave and smile at me in court was comforting to my heart that he has no fear of me like his mother had claimed.”
Thurmond said he was “grateful to the court and to the prosecutor (and) Investigator Maggie Carver, for acknowledging that the right thing to do was to dismiss this case and restore Mrs. Crawford’s good name as quickly as possible.
“I was disappointed in the Dorchester Children’s Center (DCC) who failed to acknowledge in their report that the alleged victim, a young boy, didn’t respond appropriately to some questions, while at the same time indicated that he was never touched or hit by an adult or a woman.
“Only on prompting of the direct question did the young boy come up with the necessary accusation.
“Fortunately, the interview was videotaped and the truth came to light. The video along with the young boy’s in court testimony was the evidence that compelled the judge to his ruling.”