WOODSTOCK — A Pollywog Place employee indicted last month on charges of child abuse and endangerment appeared in court on Wednesday to ask for an amended bond condition.
Kathryn LeDane, 19, of Edinburg, is facing multiple charges related to a months-long investigation of Pollywog Place by Virginia State Police. Jamie Pence, the executive director of Pollywog Place, was also indicted last month on charges of child abuse and failure to report abuse to authorities.
The details of LeDane’s involvement in the case are unclear as state police continue their investigation.
Ryan Nuzzo, LeDane’s attorney, told the court on Wednesday that the original bond worked out was made in a rush as the direct indictment came down with only hours of notice to him and his client. As a result, he said, he did not consider that the blanket prohibition on LeDane coming into contact with minors would affect her family life.
On Wednesday, Nuzzo asked the court to consider amending LeDane’s bond to allow for her to be in contact with her siblings and cousins who are minors.
Amanda Strecky, assistant commonwealth’s attorney, said she had reservations about the broad language of “cousin” Nuzzo offered.
Strecky told Judge Kevin C. Black that she wasn’t from Shenandoah County but that where she’s from, the term cousin can mean a range outside of blood relations. Strecky said it wasn’t right for the court to approve of LeDane interacting with “cousins” and then expecting the public to determine what that meant.
Black said he expected the definition to consist of first cousins, directly related to LeDane.
Strecky also questioned why the consideration of a sibling who is a minor wasn’t at the top of Nuzzo’s mind when the initial agreement was hammered out.
Nuzzo said that LeDane wants to be allowed to participate in family gatherings where family members who are minors are present — and always in the company and supervision of older family members.
Wednesday’s request was tailored to allow for contact with family members, Nuzzo said, and specifically avoided requesting an allowance for contact with minors for employment.
Black allowed for the bond modification, stipulating that all contact with family members who are minors needed to be under the direct supervision of family members.
LeDane will appear again in Shenandoah County Circuit Court at 2 p.m. May 20 for pre-trial motions. The court did not set a trial date on Wednesday.