Day Care Owner Convicted of Keeping 26 Children in the Basement of Her Business

A Colorado day care proprietor convicted of holding 26 youngsters hidden within the basement of her enterprise two years in the past has been sentenced to 6 years in jail after dad and mom stated a number of the youngsters suffered trauma, together with sleeping issues and anxiousness.

A decide issued the sentence to Carla Religion on Thursday following her conviction by a jury in August of greater than two dozen misdemeanor little one abuse expenses and different crimes.

Religion was solely licensed to take care of as much as six children at her Colorado Springs non-public day care and solely two of them had been allowed to be beneath the age of two.

However police, who went to her Mountain Play Place day care in November 2019 after receiving experiences there have been extra youngsters than allowed, discovered 25 youngsters within the basement, together with 12 youngsters beneath age 2, prosecutors stated.

There have been two grownup workers supervising them within the basement. One among them, Valerie Fresquez, accepted a plea deal and testified at Religion’s trial, KRDO-TV reported. The twenty sixth little one who had been within the basement was picked up by a mum or dad whereas police had been on the day care, authorities stated.


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Lots of the youngsters had dirty or moist diapers and had been sweaty and thirsty, in accordance with an arrest affidavit.

When police arrived, Religion repeatedly advised an officer that no youngsters had been there and that the house didn’t have a basement, however the officer heard youngsters’s music and a toddler’s cry from the basement, the affidavit stated.

One other officer found a false wall and moved it to disclose the basement staircase, the affidavit stated.

At Religion’s sentencing on Thursday, dad and mom of the youngsters and family members crammed the courtroom, telling the decide that their youngsters have suffered trauma since being on the day care, citing sleep and anxiousness points, KOAA-TV reported.

Ought to this daycare proprietor go to jail for all times?

Mother or father Kim Marshall stated that each of her youngsters nonetheless obtain counseling.

“We sleep with the lights on in our home,” she stated. “My children are anxious. They’re afraid of the world.”

Religion’s lawyer, Josh Tolini, stated she had issue saying “no” to oldsters who wished to position their youngsters at her day care and that the state of affairs snowballed.

She made some “extremely poor selections about how to do that,” Tolini stated.

Religion was convicted of 26 counts of misdemeanor little one abuse, trying to affect a public servant and obstructing a peace officer.


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KRDO-TV reported that expenses towards Fresquez can be dropped if she meets some unspecified steps.

Day care worker Christina Swauger was convicted of the identical expenses as Religion and is awaiting sentencing.

An arrest warrant has been issued for one more former day care worker who failed to seem in court docket, stated Howard Black, a spokesperson for the 4th Judicial District Legal professional’s Workplace in Colorado.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Related Press story and should have altered it previous to publication to make sure that it meets our editorial requirements. | Day Care Proprietor Convicted of Protecting 26 Youngsters within the Basement of Her Enterprise

Huynh Nguyen

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