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January Neatherlin

January Neatherlin

Mugshot of January Neatherlin

Mugshot of January Neatherlin

January Irene Neatherlin was the owner of an illegal day care in Bend, Oregon. In March 2018, January was sentenced to 21 years in prison after drugging children at her daycare so that she could go to the gym, do CrossFit, and tanning.

Career

January Neatherlin ran the illegal day care Little Giggles out of her home in Bend, Oregon until her arrest in March 2017.

She had been running the business illegally as her business license lapsed in 2012.

Criminal Record

Child Abuse

January Neatherlin in court during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018

January Neatherlin in court during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018

January Neatherlin crying during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018

January Neatherlin crying during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018

January Neatherlin addressing the courtroom during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018

January Neatherlin addressing the courtroom during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018

January Neatherlin listening to parents speak during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018

January Neatherlin listening to parents speak during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018

January Neatherlin in court during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018

January Neatherlin in court during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018

January Neatherlin being taken to jail after her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018

January Neatherlin being taken to jail after her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018

January Neatherlin's home in Bend, OR where she ran her illegal day care, Little Giggles

January Neatherlin's home in Bend, OR where she ran her illegal day care, Little Giggles

On Friday, January 11, 2018 Deschutes County, Oregon Circuit Judge Wells Ashby imposed a sentence of 21 years and four months on January Neatherlin. Prosecutors along with parents of the children had requested a 35-year prison term. She had been accused of drugging her children in her day care with melatonin so that she could hit the gym, do CrossFit, and tanning.

“I failed you all.

I let you all down,” January Neatherlin, told the courtroom.

“I let all of you down that trusted me, and no one is at fault but me,” she said.

“I know you may never forgive me, but I ask you consider it.”

January Neatherlin, speaking through tears, said despite what she had admitted doing, she thought of “all my day care kids as my own, and I believe they loved me.”

“Everybody makes mistakes, but not everybody takes responsibility for those mistakes,” she said.

"With that said, I pray that the court and the parents accept my apology, It was never my intention to put any of your children at risk of injury or harm.

I truly loved them all, but I made a very poor call that has forever changed my live, and maybe even has ended it."

She also noted she failed her own children, who she hasn’t seen since her arrest in March 2017.

‘I have abandoned my children, because of my actions.”

“I have a lot of demons to face.

I have a lot of things pushed down inside of me that I was scared to face,” January Neatherlin said.

“I lost a part of me long ago, and I haven't been the same since.

I lost all focus on what was right from wrong, thinking things through before doing them.

"I had tunnel vision, so I didn't have to face the reality of my life.... I was being selfish, thinking only of myself, not thinking of people I could be putting in jeopardy, and not of the people I could be potentially hurting.

All I could think of was trying to keep my mind from facing the reality.

I had one mindset and didn’t think about the consequences in the long run."

Ashby said the day's testimony gave him a clearer understanding of what he called a "very tragic situation" that resulted in "sheer terror" and guilt for parents who trusted a child to someone who they thought was trustworthy.

"You (as parents) find a way to blame yourself, even if it's not your fault," the judge said, noting the "carnage" left by the case, including a number of couples who said jobs were lost or marriages or partnerships ended "because of the tidal forces of this case.

They couldn't withstand the forces -- and how could they?"

The judge said it was good that January Neatherlin has taken responsibility for her actions, but said she still has a "very long way to go."

Ashby said a judge is supposed to strike a balance, looking at all the factors, but said he "will not take a risk on community safety."

Neatherlin told one girl’s parents that the girl did fall out of her chair but she “didn’t think she hurt herself that bad.”

She said she tried to reach out to them, but police said not to contact them, and she apologized to them as well.

Ashby rejected that explanation of injuries prosecutors said were consistent with shaken baby syndrome.

"There is a pattern with you of lying repeatedly, of repeatedly putting children at risk," the judge said.

"There is something broke and something missing in you," he said.

"I don't say that to be mean to you -- simply a gap there.

It is the court's hope you can make yourself whole again."

The judge directed photographers not to show the faces or reporter to identify the family members who testified.

But some parents spoke with us outside the courtroom after the sentencing.

"I'm glad that there is some kind of closure," Kevin Hord said, his voice trembling at times.

"It's going to be tough, but we'll make it through.

And I think justice was served.

I think the judge was right on with fully understanding the extent of the charges and making a judgment that will hopefully make somebody like that think twice, if they make it out."

Audrey Torrance said, "To hear these other testimonies is absolute heartbreak."

Asked what's next for her family, she smiled but said tearfully, "We move on, we -- I go home, I hug my kids and we move on."

The sentencing hearing came almost a year after police investigators found seven children under age 5 drugged and unattended at January Neatherlin's Little Giggles Day Care while she was at a tanning salon.

Neatherlin entered negotiated guilty pleas in February 2018 to a dozen of the 122 charges against her, including 11 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and one count of third-degree assault.

Deputy District Attorney Kandy Gies laid out the details of how the case came to light last spring, after a former roommate who stayed home sick saw kids being left home alone.

Police conducted surveillance and on March 15, 2017 knowing she had again left, entered the home.

Officer Devin Lewis testified they were shocked when they walked in and saw seven young children -- and no adult present.

He said he went into “father mode” and had to change a couple of diapers.

One baby, he said, had vomit on the neck and face, and Lewis said that child could have suffocated if police had not intervened.

Each parent had put their trust in January Neatherlin, Gies said, calling the situation “each parent’s nightmare.”

The case is different, she said, and not a typical matter of criminal mistreatment.

The prosecutor listed each of the children there at the time and what happened to them – one with bruises, one with burns and a third that led to the assault charge, with brain injury consistent with shaken baby syndrome.

That baby had bleeding and swelling in the head when the injuries came to light in January 2014 The child was 11 months old and now is 5.

The prosecutor said, the baby was taken away from the parents and placed in foster care for seven months when state child welfare investigators thought the parents were at fault.

The girl’s father and both sets of grandparents of the girl spoke next, saying the injuries came to light when they picked the girl up and she was lethargic, then threw up and was acting groggy.

They took her to the hospital, where bleeding on the brain was found.

A doctor told them it appeared there had been a previous injury.

The family members said the little girl needed therapy for several years and that they remain worried about long-term impacts, but so far she’s a normal 5-year-old. The allegations of abuse also tore the family apart, they said, asking that the judge impose the full 35-year sentence sought by the state.

The grandparents cried during their testimony.

January Neatherlin wiped her eyes and removed her glasses, before a break in the proceedings was called.

The baby’s mother then testified, saying January Neatherlin gave them fraudulent documents and that Neatherlin did not respond to repeated calls.

She said the baby was shivering and shaking after being picked up from the day care and could barely roll over after the injuries.

She said they had to take an ambulance to a Portland, Oregon hospital, as a Life Flight helicopter could not fly due to the weather – and that they probably will never know exactly what happened.

Another mother said she met January Neatherlin when her daughter was 9 months old and she seemed nice and that she’d researched her name – though she gave the wrong name.

A year later, they learned she had shoved scalding hot milk into the girl’s mouth, burning her mouth and shoulder.

January Neatherlin also had asked the family to watch her own child once, and she said when her husband went to the home, they found 16 children in the home.

She said Neatherlin also told the family to give her (Neatherlin's) own daughter melatonin.

That’s when she looked up Neatherlin under a different name and learned what was going on.

She said her daughter came down with severe pneumonia and a doctor asked about abuse. She removed her child after 10 months in Neatherlin’s care.

Another mother said they had been friends for over a decade when she placed a child with her.

She said she’d tried to get the place shut down three years ago and was sorry her voice wasn’t heard.

“She is a danger to society and all of our children,” the mother said.

“She cannot be rehabilitated.

She is and always will be a habitual offender.”

Another mother said her baby was in January Neatherlin’s care from 3 to 9 months of age and often was crying.

The woman said they had been lied to and their child was mistreated.

But she also said that “finding child care is a parent’s nightmare” – that she’d contacted 20 days cares before finding January Neatherlin, who knew the struggles parents face finding day care.

After time in Neatherlin's care, she said her child didn’t sleep through the night until after he turned a year old, having been fed melatonin for months.

She said she and her husband attended therapy to cope with their loss of trust in people.

Despite that, she said, "We will never feel safe leaving our children with anyone."

Another mother told of how January Neatherlin said she was licensed and could provide documentation – also assuring her that her daughter would be the only infant in her care.

She said their daughter went to Little Giggles five days a week starting in August 2016, as both parents are teachers.

Neatherlin told her to let her know when she was on her way to pick up her child.

The woman said January Neatherlin often said her baby could be tired because she hadn’t slept well.

She said her daughter was always constipated and cried constantly.

The mother, in tears, said what happened caused her to lose trust in people and the community.

Her husband said January Neatherlin repeatedly administered sleeping agent to children “and drove off in her car to fulfill her narcissistic needs.

January had no respect for human life,” he said.

“The community will be safer without her in it.”

The afternoon session continued with more parents telling of their kids having lasting issues -- a mother said her daughter came home with broken blood vessels in her face and neck, and Neatherlin said it was from screaming.

Her son, 4 years old at the time, remembers police entering the home and asks about Neatherlin.

While the family feels betrayed and manipulated, the mother said, "I want to teach my kids about forgiveness and understanding."

The children's father, crying and angry, called it "unbelievable that any person on this Earth ahs the capacity to make children a target."

"In my opinion, your honor, 100 years would not be enough for this person," he said.

"There is no place in this world for monsters like January."

Ashby thanked each parent for their comments, telling this father: "It's great to hear your strength, and it gives this court a lot of confidence that your children are going to do well.

So thank you for being here."

Another mother said her children would start crying the moment she turned down Neatherlin's street, and their time in her home changed their behavior - her son trying to ransack the refrigerator and cupboards.

The kids later told counselors she would hit or kick them and yell at them.

"I will always wonder how this damage will shape who they will become," she said, before her husband called January Neatherlin "an absolute manipulator."

January Neatherlin" has a lengthy criminal history of scamming people for her own financial gain," Gies and fellow Deputy District Attorney Errol Laure said in their 13-page sentencing memo, filed Wednesday, requesting the 35-year sentence.

"She has repeatedly demonstrated that stealing is a way of life in her world," they wrote, noting her past theft and ID theft convictions.

"This defendant has now taken her criminal scams to a new level and she has placed the lives of children in danger -- not once, not twice, but numerous times, day after day."

In her day care operation, the prosecutors said January Neatherlin "would tell parents what they wanted to hear, that she was licensed and certified to care for children and that she had CPR training.

When a parent expressed concern about her child's medical needs, (Neatherlin) responded that would be fine, she could handle it, she was a trained RN (registered nurse). None of this was true."

A former roommate and a former boyfriend, as well as other adults and children, "detailed atrocious behavior" by Neatherlin, prosecutors said, including "regularly giving melatonin to the children to put them to sleep while she would leave... multiple children alone on numerous occasions," to go to a gym and tanning salon, as well as to take her own children to school.

The prosecutors said one thing they found "important and disturbing... was the ease with which she would lie.

When parents were seeking out day care for their children, (she) always had the answer the parents were looking for," going so far as to "create her own certificate stating that she was licensed to provide day care.

She was not."

Parents were told they could not pick up or drop off children between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

"because this was 'nap time' for the children," and it would disrupt all of them.

The prosecutors also said January Neatherlin, since her arrest, had contacted other inmates in various ways "and has tried to get them to report they were working for her and helping with the day care services."

In a letter to a former inmate, turned in to the DA's office, Neatherlin asked others to bring her bail money, "promising she had offshore accounts worth a lot of money" she would repay them from -- "yet another example of her denial and her scams."

The prosecutors also laid out January Neatherlin's criminal history, with at least five convictions before the day care investigation, including several cases of theft and identity theft.

They also said three of the young day care victims were injured, one a burn to her lips because she heated a bottle in a microwave and didn't test it before forcing the girl to drink from it.

The prosecutors said several of the children regularly given melatonin had "significant trouble sleeping through the night' until only recently.

"The parents placed their children in (Neatherlin's) care, believing her lies, expecting their children would be cared for,” they wrote.

“The defendant violated this expectation and trust."

In her guilty plea petition, Neatherlin acknowledged she could face a maximum of 60 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine for the dozen guilty pleas.

After the sentencing she has 30 days to appeal her sentence to the Oregon Court of Appeals, if she wishes, and could challenge the sentence by petition on constitutional grounds such as inadequate defense within two years.

Thefts

In 2007, January Neatherlin was convicted of at least five counts of theft and identity theft. The crimes included buying a trampoline at Walmart, taking an old, rusted one, putting it in the box and returning it, as well as stealing from co-workers at St. Charles Bend. Some of her convictions came under the aliases January Livsey and January Brooks.

References

[1]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3-accelerate.amazonaws.comMugshot of January Neatherlin
Mar 11, 2018, 8:23 PM
[2]
Citation Linkoregonlive.comOregon Live: Bend woman gets 21 years for drugging kids so she could go tanning, do CrossFit
Mar 11, 2018, 8:27 PM
[3]
Citation Linkktvz.comKTVZ: Bend day care owner gets 21 years for leaving kids alone
Mar 11, 2018, 9:50 PM
[4]
Citation Linkdailymail.co.ukDaily Mail: Daycare owner, 32, gets 21 years in prison for drugging children with melatonin and leaving them alone so she could go tanning and to the gym
Mar 11, 2018, 9:51 PM
[5]
Citation Linkwashingtonpost.comWashington Post: Day-care worker gets 21 years for drugging children to go tanning
Mar 11, 2018, 9:52 PM
[6]
Citation Linkbendbulletin.comThe Bulletin (Bend): Former day care owner gets 21 years
Mar 11, 2018, 10:49 PM
[7]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comPhoto of January Neatherlin with a bunny filter [3]
Mar 11, 2018, 10:53 PM
[8]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comPhoto of January Neatherlin [3]
Mar 11, 2018, 10:54 PM
[9]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJanuary Neatherlin addressing the courtroom during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018 [5]
Mar 11, 2018, 10:58 PM
[10]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJanuary Neatherlin crying during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018 [5]
Mar 11, 2018, 10:58 PM
[11]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJanuary Neatherlin in court during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018 [5]
Mar 11, 2018, 10:59 PM
[12]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJanuary Neatherlin listening to parents speak during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018 [5]
Mar 11, 2018, 10:59 PM
[13]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.comJanuary Neatherlin in court during her sentencing on Friday, March 9, 2018 [5]
Mar 11, 2018, 11:00 PM
[14]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.com
Mar 11, 2018, 11:00 PM
[15]
Citation Linkeveripedia-storage.s3.amazonaws.com
Mar 11, 2018, 11:02 PM