Mom Who Faked Daughter’s Cancer Won’t Serve Any Prison Time

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CASS COUNTY, Iowa -- The woman who lied about her daughter’s cancer diagnosis won't serve any time in prison for endangering the life of her child.

Leatha Slauson, 30, was sentenced in a Cass County courtroom on Tuesday morning. Slauson had faced up to 21 years in prison after pleading guilty to five charges including two counts of child endangerment, possessing and administering harmful substances and theft. She had originally faced twenty charges.

According to investigators, Slauson faked her daughter’s cancer diagnosis and collected donations for her treatment. Slauson injected cancer treatment drugs and inserted a feeding tube into the girl. She also collected money from the community for help with her daughter’s treatment and took her family on a trip to DisneyWorld with some of the proceeds.

"I'm so sorry it got this far. I never meant to hurt anyone," said Slauson on the stand.

Her uncle, Rex Carr, and a psychologist also testified on her behalf. Dr. Luis Rosell evaluated Slauson and determined that she suffers from an unspecified psychiatric disorder and depression. Slauson is currently receiving treatment for both.

"Any time a person commits a crime against a child, it is abhorrent, but when the person committing that crime is also the child's parent, it is even more repugnant," said Judge Kathleen Kilnoski.

Despite those harsh words, the Judge said that she doesn't think Slauson will benefit from prison time so she suspended her 10-year-sentence and gave her five years of probation instead.

"I've chosen five years instead of two because I think you need to have a long-term opportunity to watch how you adjust and proceed with your mental health treatment," said Kilnoski.

As part of her sentence, Slauson is not to have any contact with her children. She told the court that not seeing her five kids is the worst punishment of all.

"I'm so broken. I would give anything to be back with them in my lives. It kills me everyday waking up and not being with my babies, hearing their little voices, feeling their hugs," Slauson said as she fought back tears.

A hearing to determine the amount of restitution will take place in the next 30 days. According to investigators, Slauson collected more than $30,000 in donations from the community. As of today, $16,000 is still in the account.


  • Holly Johnson

    There are a lot of people sitting in prison that probably won’t benifit from it. This is nice to see a judge use common science and not react based on influence of the crime or the public.

    • Brent Russell

      Really “Common Science”. Obviously you did not listen in Science class. The judge is an idiot like you. She gave a drug to her own child knowing she did not need it. That is assault. She assaulted her daughter. That is Domestic Violence. That means if I lived with you and beat your face in…. this judge should let me go on probation.

  • Justice

    If the judge doesn’t think she would benefit from 10 years of prison maybe she should have sentenced her to 10 years in a psych ward. 5 years probation? Give me a break.

    • Soledad

      Have you been to a psychiatric institution? The sole purpose is to medicate them and send them home. A year of inpatient psychiatric treatment can easily cost a couple hundred thousand dollars. A year. Yes, she DOES need mental health treatment. Perhaps some partial hospitalization would benefit her more. She can be around people in the world, not be isolated in a place with restrictions that limit even her bathroom allowance. No one wants to pay for the inpatient psychiatric treatment – it’s far too costly, prison would be cheaper – but then she would get not the help which she needs. As a foster parent, I wonder if her parental rights are going to be terminated to her children! She can have no contact with them for five years, but what about after that? Perhaps she can get treatment she needs and maybe be able to have visitation with them. Maybe.

  • Rebecca Hergert

    Evidently, the judge felt sympathetic for her, cause why would he do that!!
    You can’t make-up excuses for her behavior!!

    • John Smith

      If you actually read the article, you would have learned that the judge’s name is Kathleen Kilnoski. What else did you miss, one wonders?

  • Amy

    All I can say is wow! Although she isn’t allowed any contact with her children, she has been released into the public to possibly have more children. Her warped thinking has not been corrected. Ingecting drugs into her daughter and inserting a feeding tube into her daughter? That is abuse! I’m shocked that this woman has been let go into society. That is a scary thought to me.

  • Rebecca Hergert

    I don’t blame folks that have children/grand-children & work in the school system/work with children be in a up-roar about this!!

  • Eddie Haskel

    I agree with Mrs. Cleaver on this one . I hope she has an ankle bracket and is not allowed to be close to schools and other areas where populations of young kids are located . The judge must think she is ok for society, I am not so sure .

  • Paul

    Let that be a stern lesson to you all, this state doesn’t look lightly at child abuse and theft by deception…. stupid Pollack judge should be disbarred.

  • jennyjustice

    To not give this woman jail time is absolute discrimination. If this were a man, he’s be in prison already, but women cry “boo hoo” and get a slap on the wrist. This is not about depression. This is about attention-seeking and greed. She put a feeding tube in a child that didn’t need one! She gave a child cancer drugs that did not have cancer. She has munchhausen by proxy and they know exactly what they’re doing, but are willing to sacrifice their children’s health to garner sympathy for themselves. She should be in a frickin’ cell working her butt off to pay back what she took. And why is it that the most horrible parents are the ones that have the most kids? 5? really?!

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