Greenfield daycare owner arrested in ongoing child molestation case

GREENFIELD, Ind. — The owner and operator of a Greenfield daycare has been arrested and charged with failure to report in relation to an ongoing child molestation case.

Kelley L. Basey, a 59-year-old Greenfield woman, was arrested this week after police say she failed to report child molestation allegations against Jericho Johnson, an employee working at her daycare.

Jericho Johnson’s arrest

FOX59/CBS4 reported in February that Johnson, 26, had been arrested after two children reported that he had touched them inappropriately. In March, at least six more victims came forward with molestation allegations against Johnson.

Jericho Johnson mugshot

Court documents show that the alleged molestation happened at JB Stephens Elementary School, where Johnson worked at the YMCA’s after-school program. He was arrested by the Greenfield Police Department at the school on Feb. 14.

Following Johnson’s initial arrest, two more victims came forward. One of the victims said that he gave her massages, “tickled” her and fondled her. GPD Lt. Nathan Garner said after the case received local news coverage, four more children came forward.

“We knew he was working under the capacity of the YMCA,” GPD Lt. Garner said at the time. “Through our investigation, we have been told that he had access to other schools in the Hancock County area.”

One of the schools where police found out Johnson had been working was Shining Stars daycare facility, which is owned and operated by Kelley Basey.

Investigation into Kelley Basey

Court documents filed in Basey’s case show that GPD officers had spoken to the daycare owner several times throughout 2023 about molestation allegations against Johnson.

However, Basey reportedly told police that Johnson had never been disciplined while working at Shining Stars Academy and that “no red flags” ever came up during his employment.

GPD said Basey’s claim went in direct contrast with reports from a victim’s parents, who said their daughter had made allegations against Johnson in March 2023 and that the school’s owner had met with them about it.

During the meeting, Basey allegedly said that the victim had been “telling some fibs” recently and that she believed this was one of them. She also told the parents that she had reviewed video footage of the alleged incident and there was nothing to be found.

Then, in March of this year, the victim’s father saw media coverage of Johnson’s arrest and reached out to Basey. Court documents allege that Basey told the father that Shining Stars Academy “did everything they could back then” and had done their “due diligence.”

Arrest of Basey

GPD began reviewing its own records to ensure that Basey had done her due diligence and reported the allegations, but nothing was found. When officers reached out to Child Services, they found out that the daycare had never filed a report to DCS.

In Indiana, childcare workers and volunteers are required to report suspected child abuse and neglect to either police or DCS. Failure to do so is a Class B misdemeanor.

Given this, Basey was charged Wednesday in Hancock County Court with two B misdemeanors: failure to make a report of abuse and reckless supervision of a child. She was later booked into Hancock County Jail and released Thursday on a $400 cash bond.

During an initial hearing in her case on Friday morning, Basey entered a “not guilty” plea. Online court records show the matter will now be addressed at a pretrial conference on June 6, 2024.

FOX59/CBS4 is not using a mugshot for Kelley Basey due to her charges being misdemeanors, not felonies. Should Basey’s charges be upgraded, her booking photo will be provided.

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