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Social worker charged with abusing child at day-care center

March 15, 1997

WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) _ A woman hired by the state to protect children has been arrested, accused of attacking an 8-year-old girl at a home day-care center where authorities believe another child was beaten to death.

Demetria Salam, 30, is a social worker-trainee with Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families. She is the daughter of Kathy Greene, the day-care home operator who is charged with manslaughter in last month’s death of 2-year-old Raegan McBride.

Both women are accused of attacking the 8-year-old girl last April. Police say Salam, who was placed on administrative leave from her job, dragged, pushed and kneed the girl. The women are charged with risk of injury to a minor, a felony, and Salam is also charged with misdemeanor assault.

``Demetria Salam apparently helped her mother in trying to get the girl to comply with an order she had given her,″ Windsor Police Chief Kevin Searles said Friday.

Greene, 54, who is also accused of assaulting two other children in her care, was arrested last week in the manslaughter investigation. Authorities say McBride died after being struck in the back of the head.

Greene has operated the day-care home for the past seven years and also has kept nine foster children during that time, authorities said.

Meanwhile, a special panel met with department Commissioner Linda D’Amario Rossi and her staff. The governor appointed the panel following the agency’s failure to protect Emily Hernandez, a 9-month-old girl Hartford girl who was raped and killed by her mother’s boyfriend two years ago.

The panel now wants to know whether agency could have better protected McBride, who died Feb. 24, two days after being brought to a Windsor hospital. Greene told authorities at the time that the toddler had become unconscious after suffering a seizure.

McBride was not an agency client, but the DCF oversees the nonprofit group that licensed Greene’s home.

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