Baby in daycare
Baby in daycareiStock

A daycare provider from the central city of Ramat Gan has been convicted of multiple counts of child abuse, and attack by a responsible party, and interfering in the judicial process, Israel Hayom reported.

The conviction was handed down Tuesday morning, by Judge Maayan Ben Ari of the Tel Aviv District Court. In her ruling, Ben Ari convicted Luba (Lyubov) Kazkavitch, owner of the "Gan and Mishpachton Luba" in Ramat Gan, of four counts of child abuse and 14 counts of attack by a responsible party, as well as interfering in the judicial process.

The center offered childcare services to infants and children ages four months to three years.

Israel Hayom noted that according to Ben Ari, the incidents constitute abuse, due to the difference in strength and the high intensity of the incidents. The incidents occurred during several days in which Kazkavitch harmed four minors. With regards to the accusations of attack, Ben Ari said that she accepted the prosecution's stance: any time hurt or crying could be seen could be counted as a charge of attack.

The suspect was charged in November 2020 on suspicion of abusing and/ or attacking 11 children ages 1-3 years old, and on suspicion that she interfered in the process of justice.

The actions she was charged with in the indictment took place over a course of two weeks, and the indictment describes a variety of opportunities and ways in which the suspect attacked and abused the young children, creating an atmosphere of terror in the center, including by way of hitting, pushing, pulling, screaming, and other violent and forceful actions.

Among other things, the suspect threw the children in a way that caused them to bump their heads and other body parts, slapped them on their faces, dragged children on the floor, pulled their hair, forcefully pulled their arms, left small children harnessed in high chairs and car seats for extended periods of time, boorishly covered small children's heads and bodies, left small children alone without supervision for long minutes, fed babies from the same dishes, did not keep an appropriate level of hygiene, and more.

In order to hide her actions of attack and abuse, the suspect turned to a camera technician, asking that he erase all of the system's content in which the actions of attack and abuse could be seen. Afterwards, with the help of the technician, she switched the recording system and demanded that he toss the previous system which had recorded her actions.

Luba herself, who has been under arrest since the incidents came to light, testified two months ago, "For twenty years I've run a daycare, and there are many cameras. I live in the daycare, in one of the rooms. Everything was fine until coronavirus, when the debts piled up from loans. I have no family. The children in the daycare were [family] for me."

"I was stressed because of coronavirus during the first lockdown. The daycare was closed, debts were piling up, I was in the negative and there were sick employees, and suddenly I began to help take care of children."

Attorney Dima Bernstein said, "The accused also thinks that these are ugly incidents, and she is already serving the sentence, and did not request to be released. Some of the incidents, although they are ugly, most of them did not cross the threshold of criminal behavior. The actions that do cross the criminal threshold are not actions of abuse, but attack. These incidents are not similar to the case of Carmel Mauda. She will not take care of children anymore, and she will serve justice for it."

"She is unskilled and did not work as a daycare teacher. Only because of the coronavirus crisis was she forced to take part in caring for children. She did not do these actions out of evil, but in order to maintain order. The way she did that, is inappropriate. Some of the actions are not criminal."