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Women plead not guilty to Carlton County child abuse charges

They entered their pleas during hearings on Thursday, May 5.

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 — Two women facing criminal charges in a Carlton County child care case entered not guilty pleas during hearings on Thursday, May 5.

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

The charges against the legal mother of some of the children, Nicole Ammesmaki, are three counts of malicious punishment of a child.

The alleged abuse, according to the criminal complaint, included leaving a child who had toilet accidents outside all day in only a diaper, which left him with sunburn, and using a metal spatula to hit the child after he was sunburned.

The second woman involved in the case, Kayla Hansen, is charged with failure to report maltreatment of a child.


It is alleged that Hansen had seen bruises on the children when she worked as a teacher at Fond du Lac Head Start, but failed to make any reports of suspected maltreatment, according to a criminal complaint.

While Hansen's case is now scheduled for a pretrial on July 11, Ammesmaki's case will have a contested omnibus hearing on July 6.

In a statement from county attorney Lauri Ketola on March 24, she said the criminal charges do not alter the county's position in the child protection matter, and criminal and child protection courts are governed by different laws and legal standards.

After approving the application for a grant for police body cameras earlier this month, the city is now giving the public the opportunity to submit comments on the project.

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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