WHEATON, Ill. (STMW) – The onetime operator of a day care home in west suburban Naperville was put on a form of probation Friday, after being convicted of prostitution.
DuPage County Circuit Court Judge Brian J. Diamond placed former day care provider Amy E. Thoren on a year of conditional discharge, said Paul Darrah, spokesman for State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin. A jury on May 16 had found Thoren guilty of a misdemeanor charge of prostitution.
Thoren, 44, ran ABC & TLC Home Daycare out of her house on Bunting Lane, in Naperville’s Maplebrook neighborhood. Naperville police on June 10, 2010 arrested Thoren and two other women as part of a long-running, anti-vice effort.
Sgt. John McAnally in June 2010 said members of the department’s Special Operations Group “conducted an investigation into subjects engaging in acts of prostitution through various Internet sites at hotels and motels on Naperville’s far north side.”
Thoren and housemate Bobbi Jo Rennicks were arrested, along with Virgen Perez-Velazquez, of Chicago’s north side.
The trio “posted various services on the Internet and agreed to meet their customers … and perform sexual acts in exchange for money,” McAnally said in a prepared statement. Thoren and Rennicks were arrested in one hotel and Perez-Velazquez in another by police working undercover, he said.
Perez-Velazquez in 2010 was ordered to perform community service work and placed on court supervision, after being convicted of a charge of prostitution. Rennicks in January 2011 was found guilty of the same charge and received a similar sentence.
Police Cmdr, Mike Anders in June 2010 said investigators found “nothing to indicate any children were placed in any harm” while being cared for by Thoren.
Officials of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services in July 2006 granted Thoren a day care license, which was due to expire this September.
DCFS officials acted to shut down ABC & TLC Home Daycare in the wake of Thoren’s arrest. She was not allowed to operate it while awaiting trial.
Kendall Marlowe, director of communications for the DCFS, on Friday confirmed Thoren voluntarily surrendered her license on June 30, 2010, less than three weeks after being arrested.
“A conviction for prostitution would serve as a bar to holding a day care license,” Marlowe said in 2010. It would be “impossible for (Thoren) to get a license” after that, he said.
Day care homes differ from day care centers based on the number of children for which each business provides. Marlowe said ABC & TLC Home Daycare was licensed to care for no more than seven children at a time.
Thoren’s license was most recently renewed on Sept. 22, 2009, “and our most recent monitoring visit there occurred four days earlier,” Marlowe said. DCFS representatives that day found three paperwork and record-keeping violations that were subsequently corrected, he said.
Thoren in 2010 declined to discuss the matter. A handwritten sign placed on her front door following her arrest read, “Daycare is closed. Family emergency.”
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