January Neatherlin, 32, who was running a day care centre in Bend in the U.S. state of Oregon, has been sentenced to 21 years and four months' jail after pleading guilty to 11 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and one count of third-degree assault, Oregon Live reports.
January Neatherlin, 32, who ran Little Giggles childcare centre in the U.S. city of Bend, Oregon, was found guilty of giving the seven infants melatonin to make them sleep during the day.
The court heard anecdote after anecdote of close calls and actual harm befalling the children Neatherlin was paid to take care of, according to the Bend Bulletin.
The police further looked into the records maintained by a gymnasium called Cross Fit as well as Tan Republic to find that Neatherlin visited these facilities between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time (EDT).
A daycare owner who drugged numerous young children at her illegal daycare in Bend, Oregon, leaving them unattended to hit the gym or go tanning, has been sentenced to 21 years and four months in prison.
According to the court records, 32-year-old January Neatherlin has been under scrutiny since 2014, after her former boyfriend and roommate told the authorities that the woman was running an illegal day center.
"She repeatedly administered a sleeping agent to a room full of infants, toddlers and children and drove off in her auto to fulfill her narcissistic needs, one parent said. January has no respect for human life", one parent said, reported Fox 19.
One of the families declared that after being in Neatherlin's care, their child had suffered permanent brain damage, while another cited difficulties in putting their child to bed.
Neatherlin apologized to the families in court and asked them for forgiveness.
Prosecutors initially recommended a 35-year prison sentence for Neatherlin.
"Everybody makes mistakes, but not everybody takes responsibility for those mistakes", Neatherlin said, according to the news station. Police said they saw the 32-year-old leave her house twice while she was supposed to be watching seven children. That three-hour period, she said, was nap time. With that said, I hope the court and the parents accept my apology. In 2007, Neatherlin was charged with multiple instances of theft and identity theft, reported Oregon Live.
She was investigated for a similar allegation in 2015 and officials found no evidence that she was caring for more than three children.
"In my opinion, your honor", Kevin Hord, one of the fathers of the children in the day care told the judge, "100 years would not be enough".