Child abuse charges filed after 2 incidents at home day care run by woman ‘in the US illegally’

Jaquelin Cantor

PHOENIX — A woman whose job was caring for children is facing charges of child abuse after the parents of two kids contacted the police.

According to court documents, Jaquelin Cantor, 35, ran a day care out of her home and admitted to police – twice — that she is “in the United States illegally.”

The charges stem from two separate incidents, one in November 2017 involving a 1-year-old girl and another in February 2018 involving a 2-year-old boy.

In the first incident, the 1-year-old girl’s mother “observed linear scratches under both of her daughter’s eyes” when she picked her up from Cantor’s home on Nov. 4.

Police said Cantor told the mother the girl “was rubbing her eyes and accidentally scratched herself because her fingernails were long.”

Later that evening, the mom noticed a bruise on her daughters’ pelvic area.

“During an interview with police, the defendant maintained the victim scratches herself while ‘fighting her sleep,’” according to the probable cause statement. “She denied knowing about the bruise.”

The second incident was reported in February by the mother of a 2-year-old boy who had been in Cantor’s care for about 10 hours a day for a month.

According to police, the mother saw a bruise on her son’s genitals after picking him up from Cantor’s home.

Cantor denied hurting the boy and agreed to take a polygraph. That did not happen until April 20.

According to court documents, “she confessed to squeezing the victim’s (genitals) because she was frustrating about him touching his (genitals) and urinating on the floor of her bathroom.”

Police said she reiterated that confession when detectives questioned her again.

When investigators questioned Cantor in both incidents, she “self-admitted to being in the United States illegally.”

It’s not clear how long Cantor has been in Phoenix, Arizona.

Police have not said whether they expect more victims to come forward.