Bridgewater teacher accused of physically abusing three Pre-K students with disabilities, DA says

A Massachusetts woman accused of physically abusing three Pre-Kindergarten students in her care at a Bridgewater elementary school appeared in court on assault charges Tuesday, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz announced.

Kathryn Rousseau, 56, of Taunton pleaded not guilty in Brockton District Court to three counts of assault and battery on a person with intellectual disabilities.

On March 14 a parent of one of the 4-year-old victims reported to the Bridgewater Police Department after they were informed by a staffer from the Mitchell Elementary School that they had filed a report of suspected abuse or neglect with the state Department of Children and Families against Rousseau, according to prosecutors.

The report alleged that Rousseau had left a mark, or cut, on the child’s lip after she grabbed the student’s mouth with her hand, prosecutors said. Staff at the school witnessed these incidents.

Police launched an investigation that alleges Rousseau grabbed the mouths of one additional victim in the class, and allegedly force-fed another causing them to vomit.

Prosecutors said that Rousseau, who sent daily updates home to parents about student behavior and progress in class, informed parents that the marks on their children were self-inflicted.

As a result of the investigation, which is ongoing at this time, police sought and obtained an arrest warrant, and Rousseau was taken into custody Tuesday at her Taunton home.

Rousseau, who said she has been teaching for 18 years, was placed on administrative leave from the school.

Rousseau was released on personal recognizance with the conditions that she stay away and have no contact with the victims or their families, the witnesses, and to stay away from the Mitchell Elementary School, said Cruz.

She is back in court on May 14.

The investigation remains ongoing.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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