Day Care Provider Gets Disturbing Sentence for Hanging Toddler in Basement


A former day care provider in Minnesota did something to a child that most people would find unthinkable, and escaped with a punishment most people would find unbelievable.

According to USA Today, the disturbing sentencing took place in July, when a Hennepin County judge gave Nataliia Karia was sentenced to 10 years probation for hanging a toddler in her day care — and running over two men with her minivan while escaping the scene.

According to the criminal complaint, a father was dropping off his son at Karia’s home in November 2016 when Karia told him she had “done something bad” and led him toward the basement.

He saw a toddler hanging from a noose, crying and with visible neck injuries. The man released him and the 16-month-old boy survived.

Karia fled the scene in a minivan. While driving, she hit a car driven by a pregnant woman and ran over two men, dragging one for over 10 blocks. She then tried to commit suicide but was restrained by passersby until police arrived.

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According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Karia pleaded guilty to attempted murder and criminal vehicular operation.

Karia’s defense painted the case as one of mental illness caused by abuse.

“The trauma her victims suffered is undeniable,” said Karia’s attorney Brock Hunter, according to KARE-TV. “I’m sure many of them will be scarred for the rest of their life psychologically. Some physically. So given the circumstances, I can understand how someone not aware of the background that led up to her behavior would be surprised that she did not get prison.”

In May, Karia’s son Denys Karia testified his mother suffered abuse from her husband in America and in the Ukraine, according to USA Today.

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“This offense was aggravated, if not wholly caused, by abuse of Nataliia’s husband,” Hunter said.

Hunter provided recordings he claimed showed her husband’s abuse.

The father who saved the toddler said he didn’t think Karia was truly guilty either.

“I believe what transpired that day was not a reflection of her and who she was, from everything I’ve gathered from people. With a lot of medical care and treatment and support I don’t think she poses a risk to the public or her children,” he said, according to USA Today.

Judge Jay Quam ruled that Karia’s mental illness justified a lower sentence than what he called the “safest thing” of giving her 13 years in prison

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Check out Minnesota station KARE’s coverage of the sentencing here:

In a 20-minute explanation for his sentencing, Quam told Karia, “I’m going to put you on probation for 10 years. If you make it through 10 years, I have absolutely no doubt that all this will be safe, and that I will have made the right choice here today,” he said, according to KARE. “It will be under the strictest conditions I can think of at this point.”

Those conditions include psychological treatment. If Karia violates probation, she will be sentenced to 183 months in prison.

Karia, who has spent the last 20 months in jail, will be on house arrest until all the details of her probation are finalized.

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Karista Baldwin studied constitutional law, politics and criminal justice.
Karista Baldwin has studied constitutional law, politics and criminal justice. Before college, she was a lifelong homeschooler in the "Catholic eclectic" style.
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