A Santa Clara County Jail spokesperson has confirmed they are detaining a 59-year old female defendant. Booking records indicate she is accused of trying to drug children with sleeping pills in order to knock them out.
Defendant Deborah Gratz has been charged with five misdemeanor counts of child endangerment. If she is found guilty she could be sentenced to three months in jail for each count. An attorney believes that if a judge orders she serve 15 months that she may only need to serve 50% of that time. The Santa Clara County Jail is currently facing challenges with inmate overcrowding that has been brought on by the state’s prisoner realignment program.
Officers were initially tipped off to the unlawful activity when a former teacher at the Kiddie Academy Daycare placed an anonymous tip. The caller indicated she believed she saw Gratz slipping medication into the sippy cups of toddlers. The 10 reported victims were between the ages of 1 and 2 p.m. All of the victims had been trusted to Gratz’s care.
Police investigators say they were able to locate unspecified evidence that supported the claim. Gratz was taken into custody a short time later. It is unclear whether she attempted to reach out to a local bail bonds company for assistance in obtaining a pretrial release. She has reportedly claimed that this was a singular mistake and it was not an ongoing behavior. It is unclear whether a judge will buy that story. Anyone who believes they have children that could have been victimized by Gratz is asked to contact local law enforcement. The matter is ongoing.