Tot Town day care providers face new charge


MISSOULA, Mont. - Prosecutors filed a second charge against Missoula day care employees accused of leaving a 4-year-old boy in a hot van while they saw a movie.

Tot Town's director, Melanie Hoke, and her staff members Jennifer Nogel and Michelle Asby are charged with failure to report child abuse or neglect. This is on top on a previous charge of negligent child endangerment.

The defense argues Hoke was not working the day of the alleged incident, even though she was at the Carmike Theatre with her own children.

"The day of the alleged incident she was taking her own kids to the movie and was not specifically supervising the other children," said Melanie Hoke's defense attorney, Paul Ryan. "As an owner she understands she has the responsibility to have good teachers, which these were. These are all trained teachers. She teaches them specifically and at best this may have been an oversight."

Tot Town remains closed after its license was suspended in August. The three women are expected back in court at the end of October.