Day care owner arrested after alleged sexual assault
Annie Scholz & Jaclyn Brandt
CEDARBURG - Another arrest has been made after an alleged sexual assault at a daycare center in Cedarburg. The owner of a local daycare is accused of covering up child abuse
Trista Ziehr is the owner of the Family Tree Learning Center in Cedarburg. Police say Ziehr knew about a case of sexual abuse between a 12-year-old and four-year-old inside the walls, and did nothing.
If you recognize her name, it's because this isn't the first time she's been in the headlines. She is the mother of Cody Reetz, the 14-year-old boy who was killed by his stepfather in the parking lot of a Walmart in 2009. Cody was strangled to death by her ex-husband, Charles Avey, after she called police, saying he beat her with a hammer.
In 2010, the community came together to honor her son with a skate park. She spoke exclusively about it with TMJ4 at the time.
"He cared for everybody," Ziehr said in 2010. "He would go and talk to anybody. He'd help people that he didn't even know."
But according to a criminal complaint, Ziehr didn't do enough to help a four-year-old boy at her daycare. The mother of that boy called Ziehr when her son said he'd been sexually assaulted by a 12-year-old boy at the facility. Ziehr told her it was being taken care of.
When the victim's mother hadn't heard back for a while, she called police. Police arrested Ziehr, who claimed she didn't know she was required to report anything.
The 12-year-old suspect is in custody and the center is shut down. So far, court documents only mention the one victim, but police believe there are more out there.