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Child care provider charged with neglect, endangerment

Trial delayed for local woman

September 19, 2012
By DAVID ALEXANDER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

A woman charged with neglect of a dependent and child endangerment resulting in serious harm, both Class C felonies, has seen her trial pushed back.

On April 13, police cited and released Rhonda VanGorp, 52, of Marshalltown, for allegedly causing serious head trauma to a 15-month-old boy in her care, said Capt. Chris Jones, with the Marshalltown Police Department.

Jones said MPD officers responded to a call at the Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center emergency room and subsequently cited and released VanGorp. VanGorp made her initial appearance April 16.

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The incident allegedly occurred at VanGorp's home at 208 N. First St. where she operates an in-home daycare, but police and Ben Stansberry, assistant county attorney, declined to provide further details about the nature or direct cause of toddler's injury nor how long doctors kept him at the hospital.

Both Jones and Stansberry declined to comment on the nature of the relationship between VanGorp and the child.

A person must be the parent or custodian of a child to be charged with neglect of a dependent and must be a parent, guardian or have custody or control of a child to be charged with child endangerment, according to Iowa Code.

According to online court records, VanGorp does not have a criminal background. A search of her alias, Rhonda Starn, also turned up no criminal history.

Stansberry said VanGorp has appeared at all of her scheduled court dates. The trial was scheduled for this week but has been continued to a date yet to be determined.

VanGorp is not in police custody.

A Class C felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $10,000.

The Times-Republican has no record of the police report in April. Police Chief Mike Tupper said he is certain all matters of public record are made available by his department.

The court document from VanGorp's initial appearance was not provided to the T-R by the clerk of court's office in April.



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