Baby's Eyes Were 'Bouncing' After Being Picked Up from Daycare. Then Parents Discovered Their 'Worst Nightmare'

Michelle Holte was sentenced to more than seven years in prison

<p>KSTP-TV</p> Michelle Holte


Michelle Holte

A Minnesota daycare provider was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after she assaulted a 6-month-old in her care last October.

Michelle Holte, 59, previously pleaded guilty to one count of assault in connection to the October 2023 incident.

Police in Champlin, Minn., began investigating the assault after the parents of the baby picked him up from Holte’s daycare and discovered that his eyes were turned to the left and then remained closed during the ride home, according to the probable cause statement reviewed by PEOPLE.

“While taking Victim out of his car seat after arriving home, the father discovered that Victim would not turn his head straight, and his eyes were bouncing while still veering left,” police say in the report. “Victim’s limbs were flexed and did not feel normal. Parents took Victim to the hospital.”

Police say the child suffered a hematoma and was put in a medically induced coma. The child also needed to have part of his skull removed to reduce brain swelling.

When first questioned by the child’s mother, according to the probable cause statement, Holte said another child at the daycare had dropped the baby before telling police the same story. The baby’s doctor told police that Holte’s claim did not explain the injuries.

Police interviewed the child Hole had accused of dropping the baby, who, using a doll, demonstrated that Holte had actually dropped the victim, according to the probable cause statement.

Holte was subsequently arrested and eventually told police she tossed the baby and put him down “a little harder than normal,” police say in the statement.

After picking the victim up, Holte told police she noticed he wasn’t focusing and that his eyes were slanted. She then admitted, the report states, that she had worked in child care for a long time and became frustrated, which led her to “a breaking point, in a bad way. In a wrong way.”

Holte pleaded guilty to first-degree assault causing great bodily harm and was sentenced to 91 months in prison on May 24, according to the sentencing order reviewed by PEOPLE.

“This is every parent’s worst nightmare, and has been the absolute worst seven months of our lives,” the boy's mother, Lisa Sapp, said, per a report from KSTP.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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