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Day care provider loses license in punishment case

A Rochester day care provider accused of shaking a 3-year-old and forcing the child to sit on the floor for more than six hours has lost her license after entering an Alford plea of guilty in the case.

Rhonda Lee Winslow, 59, of 3003 Crescent Lane N.W., originally was charged with one felony count of malicious punishment of a child, later amended to a gross misdemeanor. She entered the plea on Friday in Olmsted County District Court.

Judge Edward Bearse ordered Winslow to undergo a domestic abuse evaluation and complete 90 hours of community work service in lieu of a $900 fine.

The case stems from an incident Aug. 1, 2013, when a woman picked up her child at Winslow's day care. The child was sitting on a timeout mat in the kitchen; Winslow told the mother the child had "a meltdown" at 9 a.m.

According to the criminal complaint, Winslow said she had to put the child in an upstairs bedroom for an hour because of her behavior. During that time, she had a 4-year-old day care child watch the other children.


Winslow told the woman her child stayed on a blanket in the kitchen from 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. so she could watch the other children, the report says.

The 3-year-old told her mother that "Ms. Rhonda shook me hard" and hurt her bones. The mother noted bruises on the child's shoulders on the front and back, the complaint says.

Investigators spoke with the 4-year-old, who said Winslow asked him to watch the other kids because the 3-year-old got into trouble for crying. According to the complaint, the boy said, "we are not supposed to cry at day care," and "(the 3-year-old) is the only one who goes to the bedroom because she doesn't listen."

In an Alford plea, the defendant maintains her innocence but acknowledges that the evidence would be sufficient to convict her.

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