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Kansas City man admits to child sex crimes at Lee's Summit day care in 2019

Joseph Hammerly pleaded guilty Monday
Little Learner daycare.jpg
Posted at 3:12 PM, Oct 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-03 21:34:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man was sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to sex crimes with underage children at a Lee's Summit day care facility in 2019.

Joseph Hammerly, 21, pleaded guilty to one count of statutory sodomy and two counts of sexual misconduct involving a child less than 15-years-old for the incidents that happened at the Little Learner day care.

In 2019, a 5-year-old child reported Hammerly to a teacher. However, in total, there were three victims.

Surveillance video showed Hammerly leading the child into a bathroom and then later giving them candy.

Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker released a statement on the case:

For years I tried these cases for my office. They are among the most difficult, not only for victims and their families, but also for the lawyers who seek justice on their behalf. The outcome in this case strikes the right balance. The defendant must bear a significant sentence and the victims and their families don't have to carry too great a burden. No child will need to testify or be deposed. These families can move forward.

KSHB 41 investigator Caitlin Knute spoke with one of the family's victim about the trauma their child has suffered since the incidents.

Emily Hammerly, Joseph's mother and the owner of day care, was also charged in the incident for not reporting him.

A teacher at the day care told Emily about it, but she still failed to report her son.

She's charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child and creating substantial risk and failure of a mandated reporter to report the abuse/neglect of a child under 18.

Emily Hammerly will be in court on Dec. 5.

In a statement, the father of one of the victim's said that while nine years isn't "adequate" time, the family will accept the outcome.

The full statement can be read below:

The last 3 years have been indescribably frustrating for myself, and for my family. We’ve had to live our lives knowing that someone who abused our 5 year old little girl was existing freely in our community, just a few blocks away from our home. Today we can finally take some comfort in the fact that our daughter’s abuser is now behind bars, and will remain there for several years. Our legal system doesn’t offer harsh enough penalties for those who would hurt children, and the justice comes much too slowly. I’m not able to say that 9 years is adequate punishment for the harm Joe caused our families, but I accept the outcome.

Now since Joe is locked up, the attention should be turned to Emily Hammerly. She cultivated the environment that allowed this abuse to happen, and then tried to cover it up when our daughter came forward. She even allowed her son to work his shift the very day she was told of the abuse, giving him access to a building full of children. Her contribution to these events and her response subsequent to finding out are not trivial. Justice won’t be served until she is held accountable for her crimes.