A Havre woman pleaded no contest in her first court appearance to charges she assaulted two children in her care last October.
Laurie Morin-Beck, born in 1960, pleaded no contest in state District Court in Havre Tuesday to two felony charges of assault on a minor under a plea agreement.
By entering a plea of no contest, Morin-Beck does not admit to committing a crime but agrees the evidence would likely lead to a conviction.
The Hill County Attorney’s Office recommended three-year deferred imposition of sentence on each charge.
Judge Daniel Boucher ordered a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Aug. 5.
Morin-Beck was charged after a daycare provider reported to authorities that a child who had been staying with Morin-Beck may have been abused.
The ages of the children were not released, but according to the charges, both were younger than 14. The charges state that the offenses are believed to have happened between Oct. 1 and Oct. 12, while the children were staying with Morin-Beck.
Two child protective specialists investigated, and ended up taking the children to Northern Montana Hospital for an examination Oct. 12, the charging document said. A hospital representative called the Havre Police Department that day after they were examined to report that the children may have been abused.
The daycare provider told an investigating officer that Oct. 11 she noticed red spots above the right eye of one of the children. The child said Morin-Beck had caused it, the documents say.
The day care provider said she also noticed a bald spot with what appeared to be a couple of cuts on the child’s head, and that she and the child protective specialist found bruising on the child’s head, ear, back and buttocks.
The other child later told officers that Morin-Beck hit her in the stomach, grabbed her and the other child very hard and grabbed the other child by the throat.
She also told the officer that she is scared of Morin-Beck, and that Morin-Beck told her she would hurt the girl if she talked about what happened, the charging document said.