Michigan Daycare Operators Arrested On Child Abuse And Assault Charges

A couple running an at-home daycare in Gobles, Michigan, has been arrested on multiple charges of child abuse and sexual assault. Jesse Stone, 46, and Stephanie Stone, 38, who operated Little Cubs daycare, were taken into custody following an investigation by the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department.

The arrest came after the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana alerted Van Buren County authorities about alleged abuse incidents. Working with Child Protective Services, deputies gathered sufficient evidence to issue a search warrant and arrest the Stones.

Jesse Stone faces serious charges, including two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of second-degree child abuse, four counts of felony firearm possession, two counts of third-degree child abuse, and one count of domestic violence. He is being held on a $750,000 cash bail.

Stephanie Stone has been charged with one count of second-degree child abuse and two counts of third-degree child abuse. Her bond is set at $100,000. Authorities are also investigating potential child neglect charges.

The couple’s daycare, located in their home on M-40 Highway, has been temporarily closed. A sign on the door now reads “closed until further notice.”

Despite the serious nature of the charges, police have stated that no evidence currently suggests that the children attending the daycare were victims of abuse. However, the investigation is ongoing.

A grandmother of two children who attended Little Cubs daycare expressed her shock at the allegations. Speaking to News Channel 3, she recounted that her grandchildren were questioned by their mother about any inappropriate behavior. Both children denied being touched inappropriately, though the older child described Stephanie as mean and recalled an incident where she was roughly handled.

Captain Charon of the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office emphasized the importance of identifying any additional victims. “Our hope is that we can find out if there are any additional victims because there is a daycare there and so that we can try to bring some closure to those victims if they’re out there,” he said.

The Stones are scheduled to appear in court for a probable cause hearing on July 17.