On February 28, 2018, Adetokunbo O. Akinnaso, then the director of Dusk Christian Childcare and Learning Center in Plainfield, New Jersey, attempted to discipline two young children by putting a steak knife on their hands and threatening to cut their fingers off and throw them away if they continued to misbehave, the New York Daily News reported at the time.
When one of the children, Elijah Moss, alerted his parents to the incident, they called the New Jersey Department of Children and Families Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit, which alerted prosecutors. However, the 64-year-old administrator was only charged with child abuse and not weapons charges, because the prosecutor's office "only filed charges they thought they could prove," NJ.com reported August 25.
Another caretaker at the facility corroborated the child's claims, the Daily News reported.
Raymond Moss, Elijah's father, told NJ.com his son was normally a "bundle of joy," but had been traumatized by the incident and doesn't like to talk about it. "As soon as we sit him down and try to have these conversations, he goes to another place."
On August 22, Akinnaso pleaded guilty to two counts of fourth-degree child abuse in Superior Court in Union County, the Union County Prosecutor's Office said, which also indicated it would be seeking probation at her September 28 sentencing. She has also agreed never to work in jobs with children again.