Teaching Assistant Accused of Abusing Camper at Sunrise Family Center

A former teaching assistant is being accused of child abuse over her interactions with a summer camper at a Sunrise family center over the summer.

Ophelia Thompson, 39, appeared before a judge Friday for child abuse allegations that investigators say took place on three separate occasions within a two-day period in August at the Children's Ability Center at the Jewish Adoption and Family Care Center in Sunrise.

According to the mother, the child has behavioral concerns as well as autism.

A report describes how one counselor reportedly saw the victim on the floor crying as Thompson bent back his hands in a painful way.

When this counselor questioned Thompson, she reportedly said, "He's gone learn to keep his hands to himself."

Another alleged incident was in a common room. The same counselor told investigators she saw Thompson grab the victim's arm, push him to the ground and say, "Keep your hands off my stuff." He fell between two small couches and sustained bruises to his left knee. Thompson told the other counselor he was drinking her iced coffee, which upset her.

A nurse met with investigators and confirmed she did not witness the incidents but treated the victim for his injuries to his knee and the red handprint lines to his forearms.

The program director told investigators that all employees receive training explaining they do not have the authority to place their hands on the students and they need to call the crisis unit if there is a physical altercation.

The director of operations told investigators Thompson was terminated on July 18th, immediately after the incident.

She faces three counts of child abuse and is being held on an $8,500 bond. 

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