COLORADO SPRINGS (Colo.) — Colorado daycare owner was convicted of hiding 26 children in her basement two years ago. Parents claimed that some of the children had suffered trauma, including anxiety and sleeping difficulties.
After Carla Faith’s August conviction of more than 20 misdemeanor child abuse charges, a judge sentenced her on Thursday
Faith was licensed to care only for six children at her Colorado Springs daycare, and only two were allowed to be younger than 2.
After receiving reports that more children were being cared for at Mountain Play Place, police went to the location in November 2019. They found 25 children living in the basement. This included 12 children younger than 2, according to prosecutors.
KRDO-TV reported that two adults were responsible for supervising the children at the basement. Valerie Fresquez, one of them, agreed to a plea and testified during Faith’s trial. According to authorities, the 26th child found in the basement was discovered by a parent who was attending the day care.
According to an arrest affidavit, many of the children had wet or soiled diapers and were thirsty.
Faith, who was repeatedly telling police she didn’t know of any children, said that the home didn’t have a basement. But the officer heard the children’s music and a child crying from the basement.
The affidavit stated that another officer discovered a false wall, and moved it to expose the basement stairs.
Parents and relatives of Faith filled the courtroom on Thursday to tell the judge about their children’s trauma experiences at daycare. They also cited anxiety and sleep issues.
Kim Marshall, parent of Kim Marshall, said that counseling is still available for her children.
She stated, “We always have the lights on when we sleep.” “My children are anxious. They are afraid of the outside world.
Josh Tolini who is Faith’s lawyer said that Faith had trouble saying no to parents who wanted their children in her daycare and that it became a snowball effect.
Tolini stated that she made “extremely poor decisions about how to proceed.”
Faith was found guilty of 26 counts including misdemeanor child abuse, trying to influence a public official and obstruction of a peace officer.
KRDO-TV reported Fresquez would be freed if she takes certain steps.
Christina Swauger is a daycare worker and was convicted on the same charges as Faith. She awaits sentencing.
Howard Black, spokesperson for Colorado’s 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, stated that an arrest warrant was issued for another day care worker who failed to appear in court.