Baby sitter pleads not guilty in Livermore child abuse case

'Nothing I've seen indicates a felony was committed,' sitter's attorney says

A baby sitter accused of abusing a 13-month-old Livermore baby boy pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony child abuse charge.

Moriah Gonzales, 20, of Livermore, was arrested on Feb. 19 after the boy's parents called Livermore police after reviewing "nanny camera" surveillance footage that they said showing Gonzales abusing the boy the previous day.

But Gonzales' attorney, William DuBois, said that Gonzales didn't harm the boy and he thinks the case against her is "way over-charged."

DuBois said a pediatrician who examined the boy after the incident in which Gonzales allegedly hurt him "found that there were no injuries whatsoever."

Livermore police Officer Taylor Burruss wrote in a probable cause report that the video footage shortly before 11 a.m. on Feb. 18 initially shows Gonzales holding the boy face to face and pacing with him to try to calm him down as he cried.

But Burruss said Gonzales then placed her hands closer to the boy's face and muffled his cry and then the boy began to squirm and kick and went limp.

Gonzales lifted the boy up and flung him over her shoulder in a supine position with the back of his head resting on her shoulder, according to Burruss.

Gonzales then put the boy into his crib and left the room, Burruss said.

One of the boy's parents discovered the video footage about four hours later, asked Gonzales to leave and called police, according to Burruss.

When police interviewed Gonzales the next day "she provided a statement that was completely inconsistent with what the video showed," Burruss said.

Gonzales "denied hurting the boy in any way" but police decided to arrest her anyway, Burruss said.

DuBois said he believes there are "some inaccuracies" in Burruss' probable cause statement and he doesn't think the boy's parents were concerned about the video footage because they had Gonzales take the boy to a park after they saw the video instead of asking her to leave immediately.

He said, "Nothing I've seen so far indicates that a felony was committed."

At Gonzales' hearing in Alameda County Superior Court in Pleasanton, Judge Jacob Blea issued an order requiring Gonzales to stay away from children under the age of 18.

When Gonzales returns to court on April 8 Blea will hold a hearing on DuBois' request to modify that order.

Gonzales is free on $100,000 bail.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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3 people like this
Posted by Zenmonkman
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2016 at 9:56 pm

Zenmonkman is a registered user.

I may have a contrarian opinion here knowing so many couples both need to work ... I think!

Here's my problem. Nobody takes care of a child like a parent. Even then parents are subject to abusing their children. I am not saying this woman abused this child ... that's for the courts to decide.

What I can say, is that parents can't have it both ways. They leave their children in care of strangers. They pay them lowly wages. To me this is a form of abuse. I know that a radical view, but I still hold it. Then IF the caretaker doesn't take care of the child like the absentee mother would ... remember, the mother has abandoned her child to make money ... then its the caretakers fault.

Is the mother is displacing her guilt onto the caretaker by being over-sensitive ... maybe -- maybe not. But, the first cause is the mother's abandonment in the first place. If she was there, nothing would have happened.

Again, I know this is a sensitive issue. I just wanted to state my case.

8 people like this
Posted by Evolved
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 7, 2016 at 10:23 pm

So this is a case of parents protecting their child...not an opportunity to indict a working mother. We all rely on others to care for our children, whether it be daycare, nannies, teachers, clergy, counsellors, baby sitters, or ??? These parents seem to have done a decent job of making sure the care provided for their child was responsible.

For what it is worth, I am grateful that the mother of my children (my wife) is an educated professional woman. I want my daughters to aspire to be more than a babysitter of some man's children.

18 people like this
Posted by AnonName88
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2016 at 10:33 pm

AnonName88 is a registered user.

I don't know what is worse someone saying that it's the working mom's fault that a child might have been abused or someone saying a stay at home mom is a "babysitter of some man's children".

You both need a time out IMO.

4 people like this
Posted by Ptownresident
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 8, 2016 at 9:58 am

The parent of this child did a good job of reviewing the footage of the babysitter. After the parent reviewed the footage they still allowed the babysitter to take the boy to the park AFTER THEY SAW THE FOOTAGE ? isn't that a bit odd to let the alleged abuser access to the child again ? I have babysat crying kids all my life. If the crying is non stop a sitter will usually pick up the child and hold them close. If that doesn't work they will try just about anything to comfort the child. If the child is kicking and screaming and then goes limp for some reason it could mean he is taking a break from the nonstop kicking and screaming and catching his breath. Yes, I will put the baby down to let him cool off or let him start crying again....... Eventually the baby is going to stop crying at some point. The babysitter did nothing wrong by putting the baby down and leaving the room.
Sometimes that's all it takes to calm them down... this is a young 20 year old babysitter.....If the parents wanted perfection they should have hired a more mature women who has lots and lots of experience.......but I tell you this......that baby is still going to kick and scream no matter how old the babysitter is. That's what babies do.

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