The license of the day care has been suspended and the business is not currently in operation.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.