Woman sentenced to 21 years for giving kids melatonin while she went tanning and to the gym

Junie Sihlangu
Mar 15, 2018
09:00 A.M.

January Neatherlin has finally been sentenced after neglecting children that she was supposed to care for at her daycare. Instead of looking after the children, the woman chose to go out.


According to Meaww, Neatherlin would drug the children and make them sleep as she had her me time. She was sentenced on March 9, 2018, for various crimes she had committed.

Neatherlin, 32, abandoned young children at her illegal day care center in Bend, Oregon. She would leave the children unattended to go tanning and do CrossFit.

She has been sentenced to 21 years and four months in prison. Neatherlin was sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty in February to 11 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and a count of third-degree assault.

Law enforcement authorities arrested her last year after they found seven children younger than five years of age left unattended at her daycare called Little Giggles. The woman made the children ingest melatonin to induce sleep.


“She repeatedly administered a sleeping agent to a room full of infants, toddlers, and children and drove off in her car to fulfill her narcissistic needs. There is no room in our society for monsters like this. January has no respect for human life."

A parent, KTVZ, March 9, 2018

She did that so that she could go workout and visit her tanning salon. Deschutes County Circuit Judge Wells Ashby said that several families suffered broken relationships, behavioral problems, and financial struggles because of Neatherlin’s actions.

KTVZ reported that one family claimed that their daughter had suffered a brain injury while in Neatherlin’s care. The injury was consistent with 'shaken baby syndrome.'

Many other families complained that their children struggled to sleep after Neatherlin fed them the drugs. The Oregonian reported that the woman had gone as far as to claim that she was a registered nurse.

But Neatherlin had no qualifications. Police records showed that her business had been investigated twice by state child welfare advocates since 2014.

The police had received tips from Neatherlin's former boyfriend. They then observed her leave the center twice last March while she was supposed to be overseeing seven children.


Neatherlin had also disallowed parents from picking up their children between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. When police checked with CrossFit and Tan Republic, they discovered that she would leave the center at precisely those hours.

The woman apologized profusely in court, admitting to families that she had let them down. “Everybody makes mistakes, but not everybody takes responsibility for those mistakes,” she stated.

She added at the time that she hoped the court and the parents would accept her apology. Neatherlin admitted that she had made a very poor call, and she claimed that it had changed her life forever and even ended it.

Ashby did not accept the explanation given by Neatherlin about the injuries that prosecutors said were consistent with 'shaken baby' syndrome. Neatherlin faces other counts of criminal mistreatment for previous incidents with children.

She also has prior felony identity-theft convictions under the names January Livsey and January Brooks, according to Fox News.

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