Attorney for boy accused of daycare assault claims 'mental disease or defect'

CREATED May 3, 2013

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CEDARBURG - The 12-year old accused of sexually assaulting at least one child at a Cedarburg daycare appeared in juvenile court in Ozaukee County.

The state has since shut the daycare down.

Daycare owner Trista Ziehr walked into the courthouse Friday to watch the 12-year-old suspect’s court appearance. She also faces criminal charges for failing to report the alleged abuse at her daycare in Cedarburg, the Family Tree Learning Center, to authorities.

According to the criminal complaint, the 12-year-old inappropriately touched a four-year old boy and "gave him candy to get him to do this."

The 12-year old appeared in court Friday by video. Judge Sandy Williams only allowed access to one newspaper reporter.

The attorney for the boy denied the allegations by reason of mental disease or defect.

Next week, the judge ruled, the boy will be transferred out of juvenile detention and into Rawhide Boys ranch, where he will be evaluated.

Ziehr refused comment.

There are two, and possibly three, victims but right now that 12-year-old is facing charges for only one.