Daycare Center
An Oregon woman, who runs an illegal daycare center, was convicted on Friday of drugging children at her facility in order to go work out and get a spray tan. In this representational image, a teacher checks on a child during nap time at the federally-funded Head Start school in Woodbourne, New York, Sept. 20, 2012. Getty Images/ John Moore

An Oregon woman, who runs an illegal daycare center, was convicted on Friday of drugging children at her facility in order to go to work out and get a spray tan.

January Neatherlin, 32, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and a count of third-degree assault in February and was sentenced on Friday to 21 years and four months in prison.

The police began investigating Neatherlin a year ago, after getting tipped off by a former boyfriend and a former roommate. They followed her and on two occasions, caught her sneaking out of the illegal daycare called Little Giggles after drugging the children that she was supposed to be watching — seven of whom were under five years of age — with sleep medication called melatonin, local news outlet Oregon Live reported.

While children took their “nap time” without any adult supervision inside her unregistered daycare center, Neatherlin snuck out the first time to go drop her own children in school and the second time to visit a local tanning parlor called Tan Republic.

The police further looked into the records maintained by a gymnasium called Cross Fit as well as Tan Republic to find that Neatherlin visited these facilities between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time (EDT). Incidentally, it was also the time frame that she had asked parents not to come down to the daycare center to collect their children.

“She repeatedly administered a sleeping agent to a room full of infants, toddlers and children and drove off in her car to fulfill her narcissistic needs. There is no room in our society for monsters like this. January has no respect for human life,” one parent said, Fox News reported.

Additionally, Neatherlin also lied to the parents, telling them she was a registered nurse, when, in fact, she had no such qualification in real life.

According to court documents filed by the court, Neatherlin was described as an individual with an "on-going, systematic scheme of doing what she wanted and getting what she wanted, without any concern for the danger she was placing others in."

The judge at her trial told Neatherlin, her actions led to behavioral issues, financial struggles and relationship problems in kids she was given the responsibility to look after.

One of the children left in her care was sent to a Portland hospital with multiple head injuries; another received severe burns because Neatherlin carelessly overheated the milk.

One of the parents of a child who went to her daycare center said her kid suffered brain injuries which were consistent with shaken baby syndrome. Another parent said her child was facing trouble sleeping properly after being fed sleeping pills by Neatherlin

Neatherlin read out a statement during her trial, regretting her actions and asking for forgiveness.

“Everybody makes mistakes, but not everybody takes responsibility for those mistakes. With that said, I hope the court and the parents accept my apology. I made a very poor call, and it has forever changed my life and even ended it,” Neatherlin said.

Neatherlin’s daycare center — which she ran for the last four years — was investigated twice since 2014 by state child welfare advocates.