A southwest Iowa woman who admitted to falsely claiming her 5-year-old daughter had cancer to solicit donations has been sentenced to 5 years probation. District Court Judge Kathleen Kilnoski today also ordered 30-year-old Leatha Slauson of Atlantic to continue mental health treatment and not have contact with her five children.
Kilnoski could’ve given Slauson just two years probation. “I’ve chosen five years, rather than two, because I think we need to have a longterm opportunity to watch how you adjust and proceed with your mental health treatment,” Kilnoski said.
Slauson faced a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison after pleading guilty in November to charges of child endangerment, administering harmful substances, theft and unlawful possession of a prescription drug.
Slauson admitted to giving her daughter, Riley, cannabis oil and a cancer drug without a prescription. She also admitted she raised money for her daughter’s supposed cancer treatment, under false pretenses. At her sentencing, Slauson said she “still needs work” to deal with the “voices in her head” and apologized to her family, friends and those who donated money.
“I just want everyone to know I have my flaws and my problems, but I’m working to make amends and the first I shall make amends to is God, my children…and all the people who provide care to my Riley,” Slauson said.
Slauson’s attorney, Jay Mez, had asked for a deferred judgment of conviction, meaning Slauson would have no criminal record. Judge Kilnoski rejected that request. “I think you need to have a criminal record that will alert the public to your behavior, so that others can be on guard, so that no other child potentially can be hurt, and no other vulnerable adult could potentially be hurt by your actions,” Kilnoski said.
(Reporting by Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic)