ODESSA, Fla. (WFLA) — A second arrest has been made in connection to the alleged child abuse at an Odessa preschool.
The owner of Children’s Land of Imagination Academy, 51-year-old Rong Lui, was arrested on Thursday, according to jail records. Lui is known as Ms. Judy to the school community.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of teacher Tara Ballou, 28, Tuesday.
Elizabeth Carpenter said she enrolled her 3-year-old son, Richard, at the Children’s Land Imagination Academy at the end of March.
“We believed that Ms. Judy was there to help,” Carpenter said.
In June, Carpenter received a disturbing call from child protective services.
“The report said he was being yanked across the room forcefully on more than one occasion,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter then confronted Lui about the alleged abuse that was caught on cameras inside the school. Lui reportedly said she was not aware of the allegations and that she would have never hurt Richard.
Carpenter said she felt betrayed after hearing back from investigators that Miss Judy hurt her son.
“She said she believes she saw Richard on camera being held down with a shoe and a foot down on the nap mat as he screaming trying to be forced to take a nap,” she said.
Carpenter said her son is nonverbal and can’t come home to tell mom what happened while at school. She said she is filled with anger sadness and regret.
“I believe she should have more charges, and that’s one of the reasons I’m speaking out because my son deserves justice as well as all these other amazing kids,” she said. “It’s upsetting that there had to be multiple teachers involved. You and trust these people to take care of your kids they should be held to a higher standard.”
Lui has bonded out of jail. Ballou is still in jail on a $2,000 bond for a charge of child abuse.
The preschool remains open for business at this time.