Oregon Daycare Owner Sentenced to 21 Years for Drugging Children

A 32-year-old Oregon woman who ran an unlicensed daycare called Little Giggles has been sentenced to 21 years and 4 months in prison. January Neatherlin has pleaded guilty to “11 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and one count of third-degree assault,” according to The Oregonian, for drugging the young children who attended her daycare with melatonin while she left the premises to work out and tan.

Melatonin is used as a sleep aid, and Neatherlin was routinely giving it to the young children so they would nap while she went to CrossFit and a tanning salon. She reportedly told the parents that they could not pick up or drop off between the hours of 11:00-2:00 p.m. because it was nap time. She was arrested last year when police found seven children unattended on the premises.

Police began following Neatherlin after her former boyfriend and a former roommate tipped them off to her behavior. Officers witnessed her leaving the daycare when she should have been with the kids, and checked local CrossFit and Tan Republic logs to find out that she had routinely been signing in at both places during “nap time.”

The local Bend Bulletin also reported that Neatherlin “had sent a child to a Portland-area hospital with multiple head injuries, and admitted to causing burns on a young child by overheating a bottle of milk.”

Since being arrested a year ago, Neatherlin has been contacting fellow inmates, asking them to falsely claim that they had worked for her. She has also attempted to get bail money from them, offering to pay them back with funds from offshore accounts.