The owner of an illegal day care center in Oregon who was arrested for ditching seven kids to go to a tanning salon has pleaded guilty – and is now facing a 35-year prison sentence.
January Neatherlin, 32, pleaded guilty Wednesday to 11 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and one count of third-degree assault. She had been facing a total of 122 charges, but the remainder was dropped as a part of the plea agreement, The Bulletin reported.
Prosecutors are recommending a 35-year prison sentence for Neatherlin, who was arrested in March after cops found seven children younger than 5 drugged and abandoned at her illegal Little Giggles Daycare in Bend while she went to a tanning salon.
Neatherlin — who has several prior felony convictions for identity theft under other names, including January Livsey – has been held since her arrest at the Deschutes County Jail, where she allegedly sought to convince three inmates to confess to her crimes. She even offered one inmate $50,000 to falsely confess, according to court documents cited by the newspaper.
Neatherlin sobbed in court on Wednesday as a judge read the charges she faced. The parents of the victimized children were also in court and will have an opportunity to address Neatherlin when she is sentenced in March.
Neatherlin’s attorney, Angela Lee-Mandlin, said her client plans to make a statement to the parents of the children during next month’s hearing.
Neatherlin was originally indicted on 76 counts of criminal mistreatment and 38 counts of reckless endangering another person after cops received a tip and set up surveillance on her home, which she used as a day care center. Police alleged that she left the children alone eight times over 12 days after parents dropped them off.
Neatherlin left the house for roughly two hours at a time and “went to the gym and tanning salon,” prosecutors said.