Following accusation of child abuse, owner of former Montessori school enters plea

Location of Desert Edge Childcare and Red Canyon Montessori, St. George, Utah, June 12, 2019 | File photo by Tyler Maffitt, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The owner of a recently closed Santa Clara day care and Montessori school has pleaded not guilty to a charge of child abuse.

Talbot filed her plea by paper on June 26, and it was acknowledged on June 28. She was scheduled to attend court for an arraignment on July 12, but by submitting a not guilty plea, the arraignment has been vacated.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office had previously charged Analee Talbot, owner of Red Canyon Montessori, with a class A misdemeanor count of child abuse May 17. The Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department and Utah Department of Child and Family Services are also investigating similar allegations.

Flyers around the area calling for parents of other potential victims to contact Mark Barlow and Nathan Langston from the McMullin Legal Group were posted on June 21, including Talbot’s name, picture and her charges. Both attorneys are representing five families involved in a pending civil suit against Talbot, which comprises allegations of child abuse, negligence and defamation.

Red Canyon Montessori permanently closed its doors Thursday. Talbot’s attorney, Ruth Shapiro, said at the time that the school closed due to “improper, aggressive behavior” from an unidentified news reporter.

“The children’s safety and care is of the foremost concern, and when you have rogue reporters or aggressive behavior like that, they really are left with no choice,” Shapiro said. “It has nothing to do with any of the unsubstantiated allegations that are being made.”

Sergeant Jaron Studley, with the Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department, confirmed there were no calls made to the police department regarding the alleged incident, and neither St. George News nor The Spectrum newspaper had any reporters present at the school.

Read more: Santa Clara school involved in child abuse allegations closes its doors

Talbot is scheduled to appear in court for a roll call hearing on Aug. 14 at 9:30 a.m.

Email: rrichardson@stgnews.com 

Twitter: @STGnews | @AvereeRyann 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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