Woman accused of failing to report child abuse to stand trial

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OZAUKEE COUNTY (WITI) -- The woman accused of knowing about a sexual assault that occurred inside her daycare, and not reporting it, returned to court on Monday, October 14th. Trista Ziehr was expected to be sentenced on Monday, but the court appearance turned out to be a request for a jury trial.

38-year-old Ziehr has pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to report child abuse at her Cedarburg daycare, but indications suggested she was working on a plea deal with the Ozaukee County District Attorney's Office.

On Monday, Ziehr was supposed to be sentenced, but instead, there was a request for a jury trial.

"The court frequently -- they schedule things for plea of disposition. The parties are not certain whether they're going to resolve it, and the parties have not been able to resolve this case. We expect a trial and we expect to win that trial," Ziehr's attorney, John Schiro said.

According to the criminal complaint in the case, police say between March 1st and April 3rd, a mother told Ziehr a 12-year-old boy indecently touched her four-year-old child at the Cedarburg daycare, "Family Tree Learning Center."

Police say Ziehr, a mandatory reporter in her role as a daycare owner, did not report it -- telling the child's mother "they were taking care of it."

The parent then contacted police.

A police investigation identified two boys as victims.

Now, a jury will hear the case in December.

"I don't think my client is guilty of anything. I don't thing she's guilty of what she was charged with and I don't think the state can prove that," Schiro said.

Ziehr of Grafton was the mother of Cody Reetz. The 14-year-old boy was murdered by his stepfather, Charles Avey back in 2000.

If convicted in this case, Ziehr faces up to six months in jail.

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