A woman in Iowa who had been accused by police of putting an object into a 2-year-old girl's vagina was sentenced to five years probation after a plea deal that saw the strongest charges against her dropped.
Local media reported the girl's parents' angry reaction as the woman was sentenced in court, with the mother calling the deal a "slap in the face".
31-year-old Tawny Symonds submitted an Alford plea to a charge of child endangerment and was handed a five year suspended sentence.
In an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit guilt but concedes that prosecutors may have enough evidence to convict her.
"I feel like the plea deal was a slap in the face and that she really isn't learning anything from this," local source KIMT3 reported the girl's mother as saying in court. "As a two-year-old little girl she never should have had to be tested for HIV, AIDS, anything at all or to be examined."
The girl's father called Symonds a "f*****g disgusting person" and said he hopes "karma gets to you".
Symonds was originally accused of sexually abusing a child under her care at her in-home day care in Mason City, Iowa. Charges of second-degree sexual abuse and assault, both of which carry heavier sentences than child endangerment, were dropped in the plea deal.
As part of her probabation, Symonds must have no contact with minors and undergo a psychiatric evaluation, the Des Moises Register reported. She is also not to have any contact with the victim or her family and must pay them $1,600.
Iowa's Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown told the Globe Gazette that the plea deal was "not entered into lightly" and added that it was a process considering the evidence and the effect of putting the victim through a trial.