KENT, Wash. - After reviewing the home surveillance footage that allegedly shows a 28-year-old babysitter repeatedly assaulting a 2-month-old infant in her care, Detective Marylissa Priebe-Olson of the King County Sheriff's Office wrote "it was only a matter of time" before the trauma would have killed the baby.
The infant girl, on her 3-month birthday, had a seizure and stopped breathing at the babysitter's Kent home May 18. The child recovered, but her month of abuse by her caretaker will likely result in developmental delay due to brain injury, Priebe-Olson wrote.
"The behavior is highly concerning and this child was in grave danger of being killed," Priebe-Olson added in the incident report. "... It is surprising that she does not have additional injuries based on what is witnessed in the video."
The injuries she did suffer include brain hemorrhaging, bruising to her face and thigh, restricted blood flow resembling a stroke, a fracture to the shinbone and other injuries in various stages of healing, indicating repeated trauma over a period of time, court records say.
Now Fantaysia Riley is charged with second-degree child assault. Senior Deputy Prosecutor Nicole Weston pointed out in a court memo that Riley has an infant child of her own.
"The defendant's behavior is so egregious any child is in danger around her," Weston wrote.
Riley took care of the baby at her home from April to May 18 after the child's mother returned to work.
Surveillance footage captured at least 13 instances of Riley assaulting the baby between April 18 to May 18, according to the sheriff's office. The baby, born in February, was less than 2 months old to 3 months old during that time.
Riley's fiance also occasionally pinched the baby's nose closed while she cried on a few occasions, reports indicate.
The video footage allegedly captured Riley dropping and throwing the baby onto the couch; hitting her in the face, chest and back; yelling at the baby; pushing her limbs or head roughly into the couch; pulling her around or carrying her by her arms or a leg; and shaking her on several occasions, including upside down by the legs.
Priebe-Olson also says Riley and her fiance have put a blanket or wash cloth over the baby's face and pushed it down firmly.
Riley also swaddled the baby or changed her diaper roughly.
The baby's mother noticed a bruise on the child's cheek May 16, but Riley reportedly explained it away.
The child stopped breathing two days later while in Riley's care. Her fiance called 911.
Priebe-Olson wrote that the baby's injuries were consistent with whiplash, being shaken and having her limbs jerked around.
Deputies arrested Riley July 3. She remains jailed on $150,000 bail.
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