ST. GEORGE — The owner of a former Santa Clara child care facility and a Montessori school pleaded no contest to child abuse Nov. 8.
The Washington County Attorney’s Office charged 44-year-old Analee Nellie Talbot, owner of the two companies, in May with a Class A misdemeanor count of child abuse. The Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department was also investigating Talbot for similar allegations.
Talbot initially entered into a not guilty plea in late June after parents of alleged victims came forward to publicly speak about the abuse and neglect their children experienced at Desert Edge Montessori, later rebranded to Red Canyon Montessori.
Then, earlier this month, Talbot entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors by mail. In exchange for Talbot’s plea of no contest for the criminal charge of child abuse, prosecutors are recommending the court stay the maximum penalty of up to one year in Washington County Jail and a $2,500 fine with a 90% surcharge.
Instead, prosecutors are asking the court to place Talbot on 18 months of bench probation, according to the plea agreement filed with the court. During the 18 months, Talbot would not be allowed to have any law violations and would need to pay a $750 fine with an additional $43 court security fee.
Talbot would also need to undergo anger management training — or continue with any current counseling as long as it addresses anger management — and a life skills class related to parenting and child development. Proof of the evaluation or counseling would need to be sent to the Washington County Attorney’s Office within 60 days of sentencing.
The no contest plea does not mark the end for Talbot. The former Santa Clara resident is still involved in a civil suit that was filed against her in September.
Attorney Nate Langston is representing eight families that are seeking punitive damages for the negligence they say their children experienced. The lawsuit claims “Talbot’s actions manifested a knowing and reckless indifference toward, and a disregard of, their children’s rights.”
Langston initially met with a group of 16 parents and former teachers to discuss additional complaints, with potential allegations ranging from child abuse and negligence to defamation and more.
“The families want to see that Talbot is held accountable for her actions and that she will never be in a position of power and trust over small children again,” Langston told St. George News in September.
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