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2 women sentenced after keeping daycare kids behind a ‘false wall’ in Colorado Springs

Christina Swauger was sentenced to two and a half years behind bars for her involvement after 26 kids were discovered behind a “false wall" at a daycare.
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 3:59 PM MDT|Updated: Oct. 21, 2021 at 6:42 PM MDT
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UPDATE (11/4/2021):

A judge sentenced Christina Swauger Thursday to two and a half years behind bars for her involvement after 26 kids were discovered behind a “false wall” at a daycare.

PREVIOUS (10/21/2021):

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A former Colorado Springs child care operator was found guilty of child abuse and other crimes after a “false wall” was found in a daycare.

On Thursday, Carla Faith was sentenced to six years in prison for attempting to influence a public servant. She was also sentenced to 10 months for each of the 26 counts of child abuse, however that sentence will run concurrent with attempting to influence a public servant count.

The charges stem from 2019, when Colorado Springs police officers executed a welfare check at one of her daycares and discovered nearly 30 children behind a false wall in the basement.

According to police at the time, the welfare check was initiated following multiple complaints that Faith’s Play Mountain Place facility was housing more kids than it was licensed to.

“The owner, identified as 58-year-old Carla Faith, refused to cooperate with officers; however, officers could hear the noises of children coming from her home,” Colorado Springs Police Department spokesperson Lt. James Sokolik said at the time. “During their investigation, officers found a false wall that led to the home’s basement. When officers walked down the stairs, they located two adults and [25] kids inside a finished basement, all of who were under the age of 3 years old. Officers immediately began working with [The Colorado Department of Human Services] to release the children back to their parents.”

Three other facilities would go on to be closed during the course of the investigation. Previous coverage on that investigation can be read here.

Three employees were arrested in 2019 alongside their boss. One took a plea deal, while the other two, Christina Swauger and Katelynn Nelson, were slated to be tried with Faith. Nelson never appeared in court, and a warrant has been issued.

Swauger was also found guilty of child abuse. Nelson is still on the run and wanted by authorities.

“So what happened here today was that we were able to achieve justice,” said District Attorney Michael Allen on the day the verdict came out. “And justice on behalf of every single one of these parents that we have behind me today, parents that had to live through something that they never would’ve imagined. Having the kids locked in the basement at a place that they were taking their kids to for care. Some place they trusted and felt like they were getting the care that they were expecting to achieve.

“... These kids were put into danger and every single one of these families has been impacted greatly by what happened in this case, and I think it’s just something that we should be thankful for, that this jury felt strongly enough about the evidence and came back with a pretty fast verdict and found both defendants guilty of all charges.”

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