A Connecticut teacher, who had entrusted her toddler to a woman during the working hours of the day, learned her nanny pick was deplorable one at best, when she returned home to a terrifying scene March 27.
When the unnamed mother got home and scooped up her 3-year-old daughter, she was sickened to see that her little girl had a black eye and second-degree burns on her hands and legs. She immediately began questioning the nanny, Lidia Quilligana, as to how her child sustained such horrific injuries, to which the woman replied with a story that didn’t seem to make much sense.
According to NBC New York, Quilligana claimed the toddler had burned herself on the stove, then hit her eye on a knob on the fall down. The scenario she described didn’t sit well with the mother, so after the woman left, the mom pulled the footage from the hidden nanny camera Quilligana didn’t know was watching her every movement. That’s when the caretaker’s heinous treatment of the child was revealed, enraging the mother who immediately alerted authorities.
“Lidia, my nanny, told me that they had made pancakes and when she wasn’t watching, my daughter had pushed her little chair up to the stove and burned herself, and that she got the black eye by hitting herself on the stove knob cover when she fell,” the mother told police in a statement the night of the heartbreaking discovery. “I called my pediatrician and was told to bring my daughter in immediately.”
Authorities took possession of the tapes, which upon watching them, instantly indicted Quilligana with the sickening crimes.
“I observed Quilligana repeatedly take (her) by the wrist and put her hands on what appeared to be hot stove burners,” Danbury Police Officer Thomas Geanuracos wrote in his report. “I observed Quilligana at one point jump on (the child) while she was lying on the ground and it appeared Quilligana applied all of her weight onto her and then pulled her pants and underwear down and spanked her …”
Now, Quilligana faces first-degree assault charges for her cruel and unusual punishment on the child.
“In the footage, you can see the absolute fear and pain from the trauma in (the little girl’s) facial expressions,” Geanuracos continued. “At one point, I observed Quilligana pick (the child) up by the throat with two hands and toss her to the ground.”
This horrific assault was the cusps of a chain of abuse that the mother had become suspicious about. Prior to the burning, the toddler had occasional unexplained bruising all over her body, which brought the mother to install the secret camera in the first place.
Upon further investigation, officers reported the nanny had a habit of force-feeding the child scorching hot food, which resulted in blisters in her mouth. When the child would revolt in pain from the hot food, Quilligana would add insult to injury by hitting her.
“I observed Quilligana repeatedly smack (her) across the face, each time knocking her to the ground,” the officer stated.
At Quilligana’s arraignment on March 30, Senior State’s Attorney Deborah Mabbet didn’t mince words about the depravity of this caretaker’s crimes. “It is one of the most horrific things I have ever seen,” Mabbet said. “You can hear the child screaming on the video as she is trying to get away.”
It’s of vital importance to screen and re-screen anyone that you plan to care for your child when you’re away. To learn the hard way is many times it’s too late, after emotional and physical damage is already done, sometimes fatal.