Daycare owner January Neatherlin, who regularly drugged children in her care so she could go to a tanning salon and to the gym, has been sentenced to more than 21 years in prison: https://t.co/a9YbRYkrc3— Starcasm (@starcasm) March 11, 2018
A Bend, Oregon, day care owner was sentenced to 21 years and four months in prison by a Deschutes County judge after she was accused of slipping melatonin to children so she could go to the gym and go tanning.
The case of gross negligence came under investigation when January Neatherlin was reported by her former boyfriend and former roommate of leaving the children in her day care unattended. Prosecutors initially appealed for a 35-year sentence.
Neatherlin had been running an illegal day care center for approximately four years called "Little Giggles." She pleaded guilty to 11 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and one count of third-degree assault, according to court records.
While under Bend police surveillance, Neatherlin was seen leaving her childcare center twice while she had seven children under her care. Initially, she went to drop her kids to school and later went to visit a local Tan Republic.
She also lied to the parents about being a registered nurse despite having no such qualification.
The sentencing memo stated the children left at her daycare while she made trips outside were made to sleep with the aid of melatonin.
It added ever since her arrest, the criminal has been approaching inmates to vouch for working at her daycare. She has also written letters to former inmates asking for bail money and that she will use an offshore account with “a lot of money” to repay for the loan.
Neatherlin apologized to the parents in a statement she presented in the court. “Everybody makes mistakes, but not everybody takes responsibility for those mistakes. With that said, I hope the court and the parents accept my apology. I made a very poor call, and it has forever changed my life and even ended it,” she said through tears.
Parents whose children were under Neatherlin’s care were asked to not drop not pick their children up from her care between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Upon police investigation it was found that the offender would visit a local gym and tan during those hours. She referred to those hours as “nap time.”
According to reports, a child under Neatherlin’s care had been previously sent to a hospital with multiple head injuries. She also conceded to overheating a bottle of milk, resulting in burns.
This isn’t Neatherlin’s first offense. Her rap sheet reportedly dates back to 2007. She has been charged with various instances of theft, including identity theft.
Court documents described her as an individual having an “ongoing, systematic scheme of doing what she wanted and getting what she wanted, without any concern for the danger she was placing others in."
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office