MASON CITY | A Charles City woman accused of felony sexual abuse while running a day care in Mason City has entered a written Alford plea to a lesser charge of child endangerment.

Tawny Marie Symonds, 31, of Charles City, entered the plea in Cerro Gordo County District Court Monday, asking that the other two charges in the case, assault and felony second-degree sexual abuse, be dropped, according to court documents.

An Alford plea is when a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the state can likely prove the charge.

According to court documents, if Symonds' Alford plea is accepted, she faces up to five years in prison and a $7,500 fine.

The Globe Gazette previously reported that Symonds was arrested last December after Mason City police investigated her home-run daycare at 696 13th St. S.E.

According to court documents, Symonds allegedly victimized one of the children at her day care, and also violated a Iowa Department of Human Services' safety plan by allowing someone in the home, something she previously agreed to not do.

It's unclear who that person was or why they weren't allowed in the day care.

Symonds' trial was scheduled to start Monday morning in the Cerro Gordo County Courthouse.

Contact Steve at 641-421-0527 or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.

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