Manassas Therapeutic Preschool Director Arrested, Charged With Child Abuse

By Alana Wise
|  Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014  |  Updated 7:37 PM EDT
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Northern Virginia Bureau chief Julie Carey speaks with the lawyer of the woman accused of abusing two students at a Manassas preschool.

Northern Virginia Bureau chief Julie Carey

Northern Virginia Bureau chief Julie Carey speaks with the lawyer of the woman accused of abusing two students at a Manassas preschool.

Police arrested Arousha Shahin Friday following an investigation in to an accusation of child abuse at S.M.I.L.E., a therapeutic preschool in Manassas, Va.

Police received an anonymous tip Feb. 26 alleging that the facility's director, Shahin, physically abused children in her care. Investigations by police and Child Protective Services revealed that in February the 39-year-old assaulted two children, a 5-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy.

"We are totally devastated with what we believe is a police misinterpretation of what happened," said Corinne Magee, Shahin's attorney.

Shahin is charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two counts of assault and battery. She is out on bail.

"My client totally cooperated with the police when this matter came up," Magee said.

Shahin is part of a family enterprise that operates the preschool; the Minds in Motion academy, a school for kindergarten through fourth-graders; and a large gymnastics program. The two schools use what's known as "sensory motor integration" to address learning issues, News4's Julie Carey reported.

S.M.I.L.E. is not listed in the state's online directory of licensed and regulated unlicensed child-care providers. It closed earlier this month when they realized they did not have required special licensing.

This is the second time in recent memory that allegations of abuse surfaced involving a Prince William County day care. Two former daycare workers at Minnieland in Woodbridge, Kierra Nicole Spriggs and Sarah A. Jordan, are charged with abusing the children in their care.

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