Daycare operator accused of abusing kids returns to jail

Hours after court orders accused daycare operator released to house arrest, defendant taken back into custody.

David Rosenberg ,

Carmel Mauda in court
Carmel Mauda in court

A daycare operator suspected of abusing 11 small children was released to house arrest Sunday – only to be returned to jail just hours later.

Twenty-five-year-old Carmel Mauda was released to house arrest Sunday, after the Supreme Court ruled last week that she may be permitted to remain under house arrest for the duration of her trial.

Hours later, however, Mauda was ordered back to jail, after the person set to host her for house arrest backed out at the last minute.

The Lod District Court ordered Mauda be returned to the Naveh Tirtzeh women’s jail Sunday, after she failed to bring anyone to sign for her bail and agree to host her for the house arrest. Mauda had until 5:00 p.m. to find someone willing to accept responsibility for her during house arrest.

Mauda had planned to stay with someone in the Sharon region in central Israel, but the host dropped out at the last second following protests by his neighbors and the parents of the victims. This is the second time hosts have cancelled plans to host Mauda’s house arrest.

Last Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that because of the very specific nature of the kind of abuse Mauda carried out, she may be permitted to stay in house arrest until the end of her trial.

“Given that the dangers posed by Mauda are limited to the very specific circumstances of children under her care, it is decided that she may be released to house arrest, with limiting conditions,” wrote Justice Yitzhak Amit.

Mauda was originally slated to be released Thursday to house arrest at a home in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Following protests led by parents of the alleged victims, however, the family in Ramot which was to have hosted Mauda backed out at the last minute.

Two months ago, Mauda’s apartment in Rosh Haayin was torched by 18-year-old Adir Ratzon, who was apparently hired by parents of one of Mauda’s alleged victims.

Authorities have charged Mauda with 18 counts of abuse against 11 different children who had been enrolled at her ‘Baby Love’ daycare center in Rosh Haayin.

According to the indictment, Mauda is accused of covering the children's heads with a blanket and sitting on them to prevent movement; tying a minor’s hands using string for minutes to hours; picking up minors by forcefully grasping the arm; swinging them in the air and throwing them onto the floor; shaking babies; placing toddlers facing the wall, sometimes for several hours; whipping the minors with a diaper, slapping them, pinching and pulling toddlers' heads back, blocking their noses and mouths until breathing difficulties arose. In one case she forced a minor to eat the contents of a plate into which he vomited.