A Colorado Springs woman who kept children behind a false wall at her unlicensed daycare was sentenced to six years in prison on Thursday. 

Carla Faith was convicted in August of a felony count of attempting to influence a public servant, 26 charges of misdemeanor child abuse, and another misdemeanor of running a child care facility without a license.

The six year sentence for attempting to influence a public servant is the maximum penalty that can be levied for the crime. Faith was also handed 10 month prison sentences for each count of child abuse, but she will serve those sentences concurrently with the felony sentence.

Each count of child abuse carried a possible sentence of between three and 12 months. 

In November 2019, authorities found a stairwell leading to a basement with a false wall that held 26 children, all under the age of 2. Many of the children had soiled or wet diapers and were sweaty and thirsty, according to an arrest affidavit.

Although Faith repeatedly told an officer that no children were in her care, the officer could hear children’s music and a child’s cry from the basement at 838 E. Willamette Ave., an arrest affidavit stated. Another officer arrived on scene and discovered a small seam separating a false wall from the actual wall inside the Victorian home.

A daycare employee, Christina Swauger, was earlier convicted of 26 counts of child abuse, one for each child found in the basement. She was scheduled to be sentenced today, but her hearing was delayed. Because she has not yet been sentenced, the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office said it could not comment on either case. 

Family members were in the courtroom for much of the trial, which included police body camera footage of the daycare and "some pretty heavy testimony," Deputy DA Andrew Herlihy said when the conviction was returned in August.

The Colorado Department of Human Services and police shut down three daycares associated with Faith.

Reporter

Evan covers justice and public safety for The Gazette. He is a Colorado Springs native and graduate of The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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