Church Worker Accused of Child Abuse, Pleads not Guilty to 10 Charges in Kentucky

Maranya Shobe, a former worker at the First Baptist Church, pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon to 10 counts of third-degree criminal abuse against a child 12 or younger.

In February, parents who didn’t want to be named said their child had been abused at the church’s daycare.

Judge Brent Potter of District Court and the County Attorney’s Office looked at surveillance footage and found 10 incidents that seemed like crimes. Seven different teens were named as victims of the abuse.

According to the citation from Judge Potter, Shobe is seen moving kids across the room by one arm while their feet are off the ground, which puts their arms, shoulders, and elbows at risk of getting hurt.

Judge Potter also said in the statement that Shobe seemed to walk on them on purpose more than once, hitting the child with her leg or stomach and sending them to the ground.

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A new worker was the subject of an investigation by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in January 2023. It was proven that the worker picked up a sleeping 23-month-old girl and started moving her back and forth to wake her up.

The worker didn’t comfort the crying child during the whole thing. The report said the worker had an old-fashioned way of thinking but knew their acts were wrong. The worker was eventually fired.

First Baptist Church stated over the phone Thursday morning that the Director of Child Ministries at the time of the incident is no longer working for the church after being put on administrative leave.

Shobe’s pre-trial meeting is Monday, July 11, at 9 a.m.

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