A US woman who drugged children at her illegal daycare centre so she could tan and go to CrossFit will spend more than 21 years behind bars.
Oregon woman January Neatherlin was arrested last year after police found seven children under 5 left unattended Little Giggles daycare.
Neatherlin had told parents they couldn’t pick up their children between 11am-2pm because of ‘nap time’, The Washington Post reports. During that time, Neatherlin drugged the children with melatonin to ensure they would not wake up and ran errands, worked out, and even once dropped her own kids off at school, investigators say.
“She repeatedly administered a sleeping agent to a room full of infants, toddlers and children and drove off in her car to fulfill her narcissistic needs. There is no room in our society for monsters like this. January has no respect for human life,” a parent told KTVZ.
Neatherlin pleaded guilty in February to 11 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and a count of third-degree assault. On Friday, the 32-year-old was sentenced to 21 years, four months in prison.
According to Fox News, one family said their daughter suffered a brain injury while under Neatherlin’s care. Other families said their children were having difficulty sleeping.
Neatherlin had been running the illegal centre for about five years and lied to parents about being a registered nurse.
The daycare worker apologised to the families affected via a tearful statement in court.
“Everybody makes mistakes, but not everybody takes responsibility for those mistakes," Neatherlin said, according to KTVZ.
"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."