OLIVIA, Minn. — Peggy Jo Uhlenkamp, a former day care provider whose teen son has been accused of molesting children in her care, pleaded guilty to failing to report the alleged abuse.
In a plea agreement in Renville County District Court, Uhlenkamp, 45, submitted an Alford plea, which means she does not admit guilt but agrees the prosecution likely had enough evidence to convict her if she went to trial. Alford pleas are treated like any other guilty plea at the time of sentencing.
The plea agreement does not include a recommended sentence.
Uhlenkamp faced four gross misdemeanor charges — one count of failing to report the alleged abuse of two or more children to law enforcement and three gross misdemeanor counts of child neglect for knowingly allowing the continued abuse of three children.
The three child neglect charges will be dismissed when she is sentenced on Sept. 3.
As a licensed day care provider, Uhlenkamp was a mandated reporter, required by law to report any incidents of abuse. According to court records, she did not report the alleged abuse after several children told her about it. She lost her license after her son Trent was accused of molesting the children.
Earlier this month, Trent Uhlenkamp, 17, was found incompetent to stand trial on three felony charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Court records indicate that at least four children told investigators about Trent Uhlenkamp touching their genitals, changing clothes in front of them or making them touch his genitals.
The teen reportedly has developmental delays. The ruling effectively ends the juvenile court proceedings.
District Judge Dwayne Knutsen determined that Trent Uhlenkamp was “unable to understand the process and participate in his defense” based on the conclusions of a psychological evaluation.
According to court records, the mother of at least one of the alleged victims contacted the Renville County Sheriff’s Office Jan. 28 after her child told her of the abuse. Trent Uhlenkamp was arrested a few days later.
An interviewer with specialized training spoke with the woman’s daughters in separate interviews. One girl said Uhlenkamp had asked her to take off his pants and touch his “privates,” but she refused. She said he had touched her vaginal area.
The other girl said Uhlenkamp would change his underwear in front of the young girls at the daycare.
Authorities interviewed other children who attended the day care. Many did not report abuse, but at least two others did, according to court records.