PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A woman who took care of youngsters at her Pierre home told a judge Tuesday that she hadn’t criminally abused one of them.

“Not guilty,” said Brandi Jo Barringer, her soft voice difficult to hear.

Circuit Judge Bridget Mayer set November 15 for her to return to court. The 41-year-old defendant, her red hair offset by a black summer-weight suit and brown top, then left the Hughes County courtroom through a side door.

More than a dozen spectators, many of them in jeans or shorts, filled several benches in the courtroom’s audience area. Some wore tee shirts with messages such as “Keepers of the Children” and “I am the voice / They are my heart.” Several came ready to read victim-impact statements, in case Barringer was going to enter a plea deal.

A grand jury on May 17, 2023, indicted Barringer on two counts of contributing to the abuse, neglect or delinquency of a child. Both are class 1 misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail, a $2,000 fine or both.

The alleged incidents involving the same child occurred between January 2020 and May 2022. The grand jury’s charges came months after Facebook posts claimed the defendant had allowed her then-9-year-old son to physically and sexually abuse other children in the home.