Daycare defendants plead not guilty to abuse charges
The owners of an Abbotsford daycare accused of neglecting and abusing several area children have pled not guilty to multiple felony charges filed against them last year.
Defendants Naomi Konieczny, 55, Gary Konieczny, 54, and Rachel Konieczny, 33, all appeared in Clark County Court (via remote Zoom connection) on April 28, where they all entered not guilty pleas to numerous felony charges of neglecting a child, reckless endangerment, and causing mental harm to a child.
Rachel Konieczny, the daughter of Naomi and Gary, also pled not guilty to a separate felony bail jumping charge, which was the result of an unauthorized trip to New York City in January while she was out on bond.
The daycare operated by the Konieczny family was shut down in April of 2019 after police and social workers found evidence of child neglect and abuse, including several kids who were restrained in back bedrooms of the house.
Charges were filed last December, and the defendants first appeared in court on Jan. 10, along with a group of parents and other relatives of the alleged victims.
At that time, none of the defendants had obtained legal counsel, so Judge Lynsey Brunette adjourned the hearing to give them more time to find attorneys. Naomi and Rachel were released after posting $1,000 cash bonds.
Rachel was later arrested at the airport in Mosinee after violating her bond by leaving the state of Wisconsin without court authorization.
Gary, who faces a single felony count of reckless endangerment as a party to a crime, was released on a $500 bond.
According to online court records, Naomi and Gary have now retained Karl Kelz has their attorney, and Rachel is being represented by attorney Jonathan Evans Barnett.
At the April 28 arraignment, the defendants’ request for a substitute judge was granted, and Monroe County Judge Richard Radcliffe was randomly assigned to handle further proceedings.
The defendants all waived their right to have a preliminary hearing.
A June 8 status conference has been scheduled for Naomi and Gary, and a pre-trial conference has been set for this Friday, May 15, for Rachel.