COLORADO SPRINGS — A trial date has been set for a Colorado Springs daycare owner, who is accused of hiding kids behind a false wall, and her employee after both pleading not guilty Wednesday morning to misdemeanor child abuse charges.
Owner Carla Faith and her employee Katelynne Nelson are both facing 26 counts of misdemeanor child abuse after authorities found 26 children behind a false wall in a basement at Play Mountain Place on Willamette Avenue. This daycare was one of two facilities Faith owned.
Last year, officers assisting child welfare inspectors searched Play Mountain Place on Nov. 13 where they found a false wall hiding access to a basement. When they searched the basement, they found 26 children being supervised by two adults. All of the kids were age 2 or younger. The officers reported that many of them had soiled or wet diapers and were sweaty and thirsty. Faith's daycare license authorized her to care for up to six children, but only two of those six could be under the age of two.
In addition to misdemeanor child abuse, Faith is also charged with attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 Felony.
Nelson is also facing felony drug possession charges after officers found a camouflage backpack with several of Nelson's pay slips inside, a folded piece of paper with three syringes inside and two plastic baggies containing what later tested positive as methamphetamine.
A News5 investigation also uncovered years of state inspection records documenting violation after violation at Faith's at-home child care center and school, both of which were licensed by the state. For more information, click here.
Prosecutors said in court they expect a motion to be filed soon to join the two cases. Faith and Nelson will be back in court later this year with the trial scheduled to begin on Oct. 5.
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