Ex-Indiana day care director sentenced to 6 months in jail for giving kids melatonin gummies without parents’ consent

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A former suburban Indianapolis day care director has been sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to giving melatonin gummies to children without their parents’ consent to get them to sleep.

Tonya Rachelle Voris, 53, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to 11 felony counts of neglect of a dependent and six misdemeanor counts of reckless supervision by a child care provider, the Daily Reporter of Greenfield reported.

Voris is the former director of the Kidz Life Childcare Ministry at New Life Church in Cumberland, a town that straddles the Marion and Hancock county lines on Indianapolis’ far east side.

A sign outside New Life Church with hours of operation.
New Life Church in Cumberland, Ind.WTHR

She was charged in February 2023 after the church’s pastor informed Cumberland police that an assistant day care director had told him Voris was administering a pediatric-strength melatonin to children at the day care without parental consent.

A probable cause affidavit states that in December 2022 a parent had advised Voris to provide their child with a specific amount of pediatric-strength melatonin to help the child fall asleep at nap time.

The church pastor told police he was told that Voris was pleased with how the melatonin worked and began administering it to a large number of children at the day care without parental consent, the newspaper reported.

The melatonin was given to 17 children ranging in age from infancy to 4 years, according to a probable cause affidavit. The parents of several children said their youngsters experienced side effects.

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Voris, who lived at the time in Fortville, Indiana, now resides in Dade City, Florida. She was taken into custody after Friday’s sentencing to serve her jail term.

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