Minnesota teen facing charges for allegedly sexually abusing girls at his mother’s day care
OLIVIA, Minn. – A teenager from Olivia is facing criminal sexual conduct charges in the alleged sexual assault of at least one young girl at his home where his mother ran a day care. The mother is also facing charges.
The license of the day care has been suspended and the business is not currently in operation.
Trent Anthony Uhlenkamp, 16, is facing three felony charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, each alleging he touched a girl in her vaginal area.
The charges are filed in juvenile court. Felony matters against 16- or 17-year-old juveniles are public.
Trent Uhlenkamp’s mother and the day care operator, Peggy Jo Uhlenkamp, 46, faces four charges: one gross misdemeanor count of failing to report the alleged abuse of two or more children to law enforcement and three gross misdemeanor counts of child neglect – knowingly permitting the continued physical or sexual abuse of three different alleged victims.
As a child care provider, Peggy Jo Uhlenkamp is legally required to report abuse.
Both the teen and his mother have been summoned to make their first court appearances March 18 at the Renville County Courthouse in Olivia.
Due to the redaction of identifying details in the juvenile petition against Trent Uhlenkamp, it is unclear whether the three charges refer to more than one alleged victim. The alleged abuse is said to have occurred on or about Jan. 28, 2019, for one charge; sometime in 2016 or 2017 for a second; and the third says “recently.”
The charges against Peggy Jo Uhlenkamp list offense dates from Aug. 25, 2017, to Jan. 28 of this year.
Peggy Jo Uhlenkamp ran Peggy’s Rhymes and Reasons Day Care, located on West Walnut Avenue in Olivia, about 26 miles south of Willmar. With her license suspended, she is prohibited from providing family day care or operating as a legally unlicensed child care provider. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the license was suspended Jan. 31 due to imminent risk of harm. The department’s licensing web page says the suspension of the license is under appeal.
According to the petition in the Trent Uhlenkamp case, the mother of at least one of the alleged victims contacted the Renville County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 28 after she was told of alleged abuse.
An interviewer with specialized training in interviewing children who may be victims of sexual abuse later spoke with the girl and her sister in separate interviews. The girl told an interviewer that Trent Uhlenkamp had asked her to take off his pants and touch his “privates,” the petition states. The girl said she did not touch Trent Uhlenkamp, but that she did take off her pants and he touched her stomach.
During a later interview and medical examination, the girl said the teen had touched her vagina.
The girl said the alleged abuse took place in the closet of Trent Uhlenkamp’s basement bedroom in the home where the day care operated.
The girl said she reported it to Peggy Jo Uhlenkamp, who allegedly told the girl not to say anything to anyone else, the petition states.
The girl’s sister told investigators that Trent Uhlenkamp would also change his underwear in front of the young girls at the day care, according to the documents.
Authorities also interviewed other children who attended the day care. Many of the children did not report abuse, the petition against Trent Uhlenkamp states, but at least two others did report alleged abuse.
The alleged abuse included having the child remove clothing and Trent Uhlenkamp touching the child’s vaginal area. One report also said the child allegedly had to touch Trent Uhlenkamp’s “private parts.”
Each of the reports said the alleged abuse took place in the basement of the day care house.
The criminal complaint against Peggy Jo Uhlenkamp states that four different children, ages 4 to 12, described a range of physical and sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by Trent Uhlenkamp. Whether any of these children are the same alleged victim or victims is unclear.
One child said fear of Trent Uhlenkamp made the child do whatever Trent asked. The child also said Trent Uhlenkamp would get mad if the children refused to do what he said, the complaint states.
All four of the children told law enforcement that they told Peggy Jo Uhlenkamp about the alleged abuse, the complaint states.
Peggy Jo Uhlenkamp did not report any incidents involving any of the four children, according to the complaint.
The petition outlining the case against Trent Uhlenkamp says that the teenager is “at least mildly developmentally delayed” and in some special education classes at school. The document goes on to say the teenager’s hiding of his alleged actions – using a secretive location in the closet of his basement bedroom and telling the children not to say anything – shows he was at least somewhat conscious that what he was doing was wrong.