WAUSAU — Criminal charges filed against a Weston woman running an unlicensed daycare in her home were reduced this month as part of a plea agreement, according to court records.
Kimberly Haugen, 41, initially faced charges filed May 8 in Marathon County Circuit Court of second degree recklessly endangering safety and eight counts of child neglect. Those charges were filed after investigators and social workers discovered eight children in her care in unsafe conditions, according to court documents.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, the recklessly endangering safety charge, a felony, was amended to a misdemeanor count of running an unlicensed child care. In addition, eight counts of child neglect were dismissed but read into the record for sentencing purposes.
Police launched an investigation earlier this year when a woman told police she stopped taking her daughter to daycare at Haugen’s home after she allegedly saw children locked in their car seats in a back bedroom of the home. The mother also accused Haugen of duct taping children to their chairs during mealtimes.
Detectives and social workers paid Haugen a visit on May 2 to investigate the allegations and found the home unsafe for children, according to court filings.
At her sentencing hearing, Circuit Judge Greg Strasser issued a withheld sentence for Haugen and ordered her to spend one year on probation. A withheld sentence means that if Haugen fails to comply with her probation rules, she would be required to return to court to receive a new sentence. Haugen was also ordered not to operate a daycare unless she is licensed by the state.