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BEND, OR – A daycare owner was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison after being convicted of drugging children in her care so she could go to the gym.

January Neatherlin, 32, was arrested in March 2017 after police found seven children younger than five by themselves at her illegal day care center, Little Giggles Daycare.

Police were at the daycare because they had been informed by Neatherlin’s former boyfriend that she often left the children by themselves.

Police set up surveillance and watched as Neatherlin left the house hours after the kids had been dropped off in her care. After she been gone for an extended period of time, the officers feared for the children’s safety and entered the home.

According to the responding officers, they found all of the children in an upstairs bedroom and they all appeared drowsy. One child was found on a couch covered in his own vomit.

Turns out that Neatherlin was drugging the children with melatonin so she could go to Tanning Republic and to High Desert CrossFit to work out.

When Neatherlin was arrested, she was initially facing 122 charges of first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree criminal mistreatment and recklessly endangering another person.

Her trial was scheduled for April, but in February of this year she took a plea deal which had her pleading guilty to 12 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and one count of third-degree assault.

On Friday she in court to receive her sentence. Before the judge did so, parents of some the children read statements, one of them saying their child had a brain injury consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome.

‘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,” said one parent. “There is no room in our society for monsters like this. January has no respect for human life.”

Neatherlin had a statement of her own, which she tearfully read to the court.

“Everybody makes mistakes, but not everybody takes responsibility for those mistakes,”‘ Neatherlin read. “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.”

While the judge did not sentence Neatherlin to the 33 years behind bars the prosecutor was asking for, he did sentence her to 21 years and four months in prison.

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