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Agreements met in Carlton County criminal child abuse cases

Two women facing criminal child abuse charges reached individual agreements in their respective cases.

File: Carlton County Jail aerial
The Carlton County Courthouse (left) and jail in Carlton. Steve Kuchera / 2019 file / Pine Journal
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CARLTON — Judge Amy Lukasavitz accepted a guilty plea and ordered a stay of adjudication for a legal mother facing criminal charges of child abuse on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

The criminal case is linked to two child protection cases involving two mothers and 10 children. The criminal charges were filed on March 26 by the Carlton County Attorney's Office.

The legal mother of the children, Nicole Ammesmaki, faced three gross misdemeanor counts of malicious punishment of a child.

On Tuesday, Ammesmaki entered a guilty plea and accepted an agreement to be placed on court-supervised probation for a year and be required to serve 30 days in the Carlton County Jail or pay a $1,000 fine. Ammesmaki said in the hearing she would like to pay the fine.

As part of the agreement, she will also be required to send an apology letter to one of the children who had been under her care.

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Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola said the agreement requires Ammesmaki to follow all of the requirements in the child protection case that is currently ongoing. Ammesmaki is scheduled for a pretrial in the child protection case on Tuesday Nov. 15.

When going over the statement of facts, Ammesmaki admitted to grabbing the skin underneath the neck of one of the children to get their attention, as well as hitting them on the head with a remote.

She said she did not hit a child with sunburn on their back with a metal spatula, as had been listed in the criminal complaint, but said she did threaten them with it.

"I take full responsibility for the allegations against me," she said. "It is something I have to live with that I let a little kid down."

Ketola added that she had spoken to the victim and while she was not sure they agreed with decision, they understood it.

Another woman involved in a related case, Kayla Hansen, had been charged with failure to report maltreatment of a child at the same time Ammesmaki was charged.

During a hearing Monday, Nov. 7, Hansen accepted the county's offer of a stay of adjudication for one year.

During the cross examination by Chief Deputy Attorney Jeffrey Boucher, Hansen said she failed to make a mandated report of abuse, which came to light when she made a Facebook post about the children involved in the child protection case.

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Lukasavitz said the stay of adjudication would include court probation; reading a book about the impacts of child abuse and writing a two-page report on it; and paying $50 in court costs.

The probation would require Hansen to not make any of the same or similar offenses.

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The second public hearing on the topic is scheduled for March 9, and is being held after residents provided comments and concerns during the first hearing on Jan. 26.

Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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