Charges dropped against daycare provider as new photo emerges in Shawnee child abuse case
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ks. (KCTV) — Felony charges against a Shawnee daycare provider have been dropped after some new, startling evidence is produced.
Katherine Konon was accused of hitting a six-month-old boy that was in her care in 2019, causing a brain bleed.
She was set to stand trial earlier this month, but according to court documents, the Johnson County District Attorney dropped the charges after a photograph was produced that showed the baby was unharmed when he left Konan’s care the day of the alleged abuse.
Since then, the baby boy’s parents have filed a document in civil court saying the new evidence proves nothing.
In news reports, the parents of the baby, Brett and Sarah Braun, said that the baby was covered in vomit when he was picked up from daycare and had red marks on his head. The parents said they took the baby to Children’s Mercy Hospitals and a CT scan showed a brain bleed and signs of child abuse. Police were called to investigate. Three months after the incident. Konan was arrested. She has always maintained her innocence.
In the days following the allegations, Brett Braun stood outside Konon home with a large sign. He was interviewed by KCTV5.
“You don’t know what it’s like, you don’t know the feeling that you go through,” Brett Braun said at the time. “I’m this tough guy that bawled his eyes out this weekend, and absolutely. I’m going to get more involved.”
Court documents contain information that on March 25, 2022, a photograph was produced at a hearing.
This previously undisclosed photograph was taken of G.B. approximately 20 minutes after G.B. was picked up from Ms. Konon’s house and shows no injuries or bruising to G.B. The photograph was taken by G.B.’s half-sister (K.B.).
The documents say the photograph was discovered when an Assistant District Attorney met with the half-sister in preparation for the criminal trial that was to start a week later.
At that time K.B. disclosed to ADA Childress that she had taken a photo a few minutes after she and her stepmother (Sarah Braun) picked up G.B. at Ms. Konon’s home. K.B. had kept the photo on her phone. It is unknown why K.B. took the photo of G.B. or why it had not been produced to police, DCF or through discovery in a civil suit the Braun’s filed against Ms. Konon. The photo’s relevance is that G.B. has no bruising on his face, appears in excellent health and is clean and not soiled.
Konon’s attorney Tom Bath told KCTV5 in a statement: “The child’s parents were not truthful and the police failed to fully investigate this matter which led (to) false charges. This was a tragedy and Kathy lost nearly 3 years of her life.”
Late today, the mother’s lawyer wrote in a filing related to the parents’ civil suit that “the [newly obtained] photograph presents no evidence contradictory to the testimony” of the boy’s mother.
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