Colorado Daycare Owner Sentenced Six Years After Hiding 26 Children in Basement
Colorado daycare owner Carla Faith was sentenced to six years in prison after keeping 26 children hidden in the basement of her business two years ago.
Some of the parents noted that their children had suffered trauma including sleeping problems and anxiety, according to an Associated Press News report.
Faith's conviction by a jury in August was under the grounds of two dozen misdemeanor child abuse charges and other crimes.
She was only licensed to care for up to six children at her Colorado Springs private daycare. In addition, only two of them were allowed to be under the age of two.
Faith was also sentenced to 10 months for each of the 26 counts of child abuse, which will run concurrent with attempting to influence a public servant count, according to a KKTV News report.
The arrest affidavit noted that many of the children had soiled or wet diapers. They were also sweaty and thirsty.
Colorado Daycare Owner Carla Faith
Authorities had found a stairwell leading to a basement with a false wall in November 2019, according to The Gazette report.
The basement was holding 26 children, all under the age of two. Faith reportedly repeatedly told an officer that no children were under her care at the time.
However, the officer could children's music and a child's cry from the basement.
Another officer had arrived at the scene and discovered a small seam that was separating a false wall from the actual wall inside Faith's home.
There were two adult employees who were supervising the children in the basement. One of them was Valerie Fresquez, who accepted a plea deal and testified against Faith's trial.
Meanwhile, another daycare employee Christina Swauger was earlier convicted of 26 counts of child abuse.
Swauger is scheduled to be sentenced, but her hearing was delayed.
Deputy DA Andrew Herlihy said that family members were in the courtroom for much of the trial. A police body camera footage of the daycare and "some pretty heavy" testimony was also presented.
One parent, Kim Marshall, said that both of her children were still receiving counseling, according to a 10 WBNS report.
Marshall noted that they sleep with the lights on in their house as her children are anxious and scared of the world.
Josh Tolini, Faith's lawyer, said that she had difficulty saying "no" to parents who wanted to place their children at her daycare.
Tolini added that the situation has snowballed. The defense lawyer noted that Faith had made some poor decisions on how to do it.
On the other hand, an arrest warrant has been issued for another former daycare employee, Howard Black.
Black had appeared to appear in court, according to a 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office spokesperson.
The Colorado Department of Human Services and police had closed down three daycares associated with Faith.
Abuse in Daycare Centers
Data gathered from 2006 showed that 5,321 daycare providers were found to be abusing and neglecting children in their care, according to Rasansky Law Firm fact sheet.
Reports from Child Protective Services reported that there were more than 3,5 million reports of child abuse and neglect in 2013 alone.
The reports have involved more than 6.4 million children.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: Former day care owner Carla Faith found guilty in child abuse case - from KOAA 5
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