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Oconto County day care owner ordered to trial on child neglect charges

Nicole Brewer. Photo: Oconto County Jail
Nicole Brewer. Photo: Oconto County Jail(WBAY)
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 11:08 AM CDT
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OCONTO, Wis. (WBAY) - A day care owner charged with neglecting children in her care waived her preliminary hearing Tuesday and was bound over for trial. Nicole Brewer will have a chance to enter a plea to the charges on October 15.

Nicole Brewer, 36, of Pulaski, operated the day care “Ryan’s Rascals” in the town of Chase. She’s charged with two counts of child neglect resulting in great bodily harm, three counts of child neglect that resulted in bodily harm, and two more counts of child neglect causing emotional damage. The felony charges carry 6 to 12 years in prison if convicted, and together carry a penalty up to 67 years.

The criminal complaint against Brewer says a 12-week-old boy in her care suffered a broken arm. Brewer told investigators she didn’t know how he broke his arm. She noticed it was swollen but didn’t tell the parents.

Investigators learned about other children who were injured at Ryan’s Rascals, including a 15-month-old girl diagnosed with a closed head injury, and a boy with a gash over one eye. Brewer initially said the boy was bitten by a dog but then said the boy hit his head on a coffee table while she wasn’t watching him. Another parent said her boy was “mortified” to even drive near the day care because of how Brewer treated him.

Brewer said she watched four kids, but a parent recalled seeing six to eight kids. Other parents said she did a makeup business out of her home and recorded videos when she was supposed to be watching the children.

Investigators determined Brewer’s day care was neither licensed nor certified, though parents said Brewer told them she was. Brewer told investigators she takes cash payments and doesn’t report income from the day care.

The complaint also says her son, who’s a convicted sex offender, helped at the day care. Online court records show he’s not charged with any crime related to working there.

RELATED STORY: Son of unlicensed Oconto County child care provider is a registered sex offender

RELATED STORY: After day care owner’s arrest, a look at child care provider licensing

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