Daycare operator accused of covering abuse gets jury trial

CREATED Oct. 14, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct. 14, 2013

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CEDARBURG - More than six months after the unthinkable allegedly happened to a little boy inside the Family Tree Learning Center, it has a fresh coat of paint. The toys are gone and the fence is down.  

On Monday, the former daycare operator, 39-year-old Trista Ziehr was supposed to be sentenced in Ozaukee County Court for her part in covering up the alleged abuse.  Instead, her attorney John Schiro requested a jury trial. That is now set for December 11th. That's because Schiro thinks they can win the case.
 
"Well I don't think my client is guilty of anything and I don't think she is guilty of what she is charged with and I don't think the state can prove that," said Schiro.
 
Court documents claim Ziehr knew her own 12 year old son was accused of molesting a four year old boy at the daycare center, offering him candy and then touching the boy's genitals, but that Ziehr kept quiet about it.  
 
The case in itself drew attention, not only because of the abuse, but also because of the family.  The 12 year old's stepfather back in 2009, strangled his teenage brother in a Wal-Mart parking lot.  That in combination with what's happening now has been overwhelming for the family.
 
"It's been a nightmare," said Schiro.
 
The 12-year-old boy has already appeared in juvenile court where he was then to be sent to the Rawhide Boys Ranch for an evaluation.