State Shuts Down Daycare

By: Holly Wagner
By: Holly Wagner

A Lincoln daycare is closed by the state after authorities learn a level three sex offender is living at the home. Health and Human Services made the call Tuesday afternoon.

"It's shocking," says Gene Mains. He's a neighbor in Northwest Lincoln who lives across the street. "It's kind of scary to think about I have two young kids."

Forty-nine-year-old Donald Laws spent 19 years behind bars on two convictions. One of those was for sexual assault. He's been living at the home where the daycare operates.

Brandi Skinner is his daughter. She owns the daycare. She says her father recently got out of prison, and needed a place to stay. "He's my father. We're trying to get him back on his feet," says Skinner.

Skinner says she told neighbors who've asked, even the parents. "There's nothing I've hid from the daycare parents. They've known from the beginning."

So has the state. The Nebraska State Patrol has Donald Laws registered as a sex offender at the address of 5300 West Redberry. Health and Human Services has Skinner listed as a licensed daycare provider at the same address.

Dr. Shannon Black with the NSP says, "Seriously I don't know that anyone dropped the ball." She says Laws wasn't doing anything wrong. Dr. Black says given his victims were adults, it wouldn't surprise her if there were no provisions on contact with children.
But Authorities say the owner of the daycare erred by not letting Health and Human Services know that Laws had moved in.

Pat Urzendowski with HHS, says "The ultimate responsibility is with the licensee. We have very specific regulations.”

For now, Skinner's daycare is out of business. She plans to appeal the state's decision, saying she doesn't believe her father is a threat to kids.

The state became aware Laws was living in the daycare after hearing complaints from neighbors. Laws time behind bars was spent for sexually assaulting women.

The Nebraska State Patrol believes he may have been connected to several rape cases in Lincoln in the early 80's. Some of those were on the UNL Campus.


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