A babysitter from Hoffman Estates, Illinois, was charged on Sunday, Feb. 18, with abusing a 5-month-old baby after the baby was discovered to have suffered permanent brain damage.
Delfina Bautista, 31, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery of a child with great bodily harm after she allegedly shook the infant girl and failed to call for help when the baby started to have difficulty breathing, reported Daily Herald, citing court records.
The 31-year-old woman, who is pregnant and has three children of her own— a 7-year-old child and 11-month-old twins — was caring for her neighbor’s 5-month-old on Friday, Feb. 16, when she allegedly shook the baby because the infant would not stop crying, said Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Caitlin Casey, according to the Herald.
The babysitter then left the baby and her own twins in the care of her 7-year-old child so that she could go out and pick up her boyfriend in the evening around 9 p.m, according to court records. When she returned home, she noticed that the baby was having difficulty breathing but did not seek help.
Bautista then sent a photo of the baby to the baby’s mother, who inquired about the baby. Bautista told the mother that her daughter was sleeping. Later that evening, she texted the baby’s mother to say that she could no longer babysit for the child, the prosecution said during the court hearing, reported the newspaper.
The mother came to pick up her baby girl at around 11 p.m. Later in the night, a relative noticed the 5-month-old was having trouble breathing and they called Bautista to ask about the little girl.
Bautista told them that one of her twins had fallen on the 5-month-old and offered to drive them to the hospital.
Doctors said the infant was suffering from symptoms consistent with the shaken baby syndrome and diagnosed the baby with “nonaccidental brain trauma.” Hospital staff subsequently notified the Department of Child and Family Services who called the police, reported ABC News.
Doctors added that a CT scan showed subdural hematomas — which one doctor said could have resulted from a “catastrophic event” that caused “neurological devastation,” reported the Herald.
Casey said that the baby girl will “most likely be unable to walk, talk, see or hear” and will require “constant institutional nursing care” for the rest of her life.
Bautista is being held on $500,000 bail. She faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Her next court appearance is on March 15.