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Child Care Provider Convicted of Child Neglect | News, Sports, Jobs

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NEW ULM – A 28-year-old Sleepy Eye child care provider was found guilty of child neglect Monday in Brown County District Court, but avoided a suspended prison sentence in connection with a plea deal.

McKenzie M. Bode, 308 3rd Ave. NE, Sleepy Eye, was originally charged with third-degree assault and two felony misdemeanors of child endangerment. On Monday, she was found guilty of criminal negligence of a child, and the felony counts of child endangerment were dismissed, as part of the plea deal without jail time or from prison.

Bode was fined $1,085 and placed on three-year supervised probation with the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Probation terms include payment of restitution, open for 30 days, before fines, fees and surcharges; return to counseling as needed, follow all referrals and pay all fees, have no direct or indirect contact with victim and victim’s family members, do not use or possess firearms, ammunition or explosives and not register to vote or vote until released from probation and civil rights restored. It must also perform 160 hours of service in 18 months.

According to court documents, the mother of a 7-month-old boy who was at Bode daycare for three weeks in 2021 told Sleepy Eye Police that she removed the boy from daycare on September 7, 2021, after saying that she noticed a bruise on the boy’s head.

The child’s mother said she photographed the bruise. Sleepy Eye Police investigator Shawn Bohnen reviewed digital photos of the child, noting a bruise above his left eye and temple and a scratch which the mother said was caused by the boy who scratched himself.

Bohnen emailed photos of the child to Dr. Mark Hudson of the Midwest Children’s Resource Center on Nov. 1, 2021, asking for an opinion.

Hudson reviewed the footage and found it to be concerning. He recommended the mother bring the boy to the MCRC for a full skeletal study and talk to him or one of his partners about what had happened.

Bohnen received an email from the MCRC on November 8, 2021, with records relating to the children’s appointment on November 4, 2021. The records authored by pediatric child abuse researcher Dr. Ashley Cochran, and reviewed by Dr Alice Swenson, a pediatrician specializing in child abuse, suggested that the injuries were not compatible with the developmental abilities of a 5 or 6 month old child and were “very concerning for the injuries inflicted.”



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