A former College Park day-care provider, recently convicted of sexually molesting an 11-year-old girl in her care, struck a bargain with prosecutors Thursday in a separate case involving an 8-year-old boy.
Gloria Tippett, 46, who is awaiting sentencing in the case involving the 11-year-old girl, had been scheduled for two more trials, for allegedly molesting the 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl.
Tippett entered what is known in legal parlance as an Alford plea, a concession that prosecutors had enough evidence that a jury probably would vote to convict her. In return, the Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office agreed not to prosecute her in the case involving the 5-year-old, lawyers said.
She also was guaranteed that her eventual sentence for molesting the 8-year-old will not exceed the sentence she gets for her conviction in the case of the 11-year-old, and that both terms will run concurrently.
Tippett's father, John A. Tippett, 69, who was charged with his daughter in the case involving the 8-year-old, also entered an Alford plea Thursday. Circuit Court Judge Audrey E. Melbourne sentenced him to five years in prison, then suspended all but 90 days of the term. He will be allowed to serve the 90 days in his home under an electronic monitoring program.
Gloria Tippett ran a day-care center in her home on Mineola Road in College Park before Maryland officials ordered it closed in March amid an investigation of abuse allegations.
She was acquitted Nov. 7 of abuse charges related to two youngsters, but agreed to one count of felony child abuse in the case of the 8-year-old boy. The crime of child abuse is punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. Tippett is expected to be sentenced next month.