A babysitter has been arrested after allegedly being caught force-feeding a boy on a nanny cam in New Bern, North Carolina.
Lauren Rowe, 25, was booked on a misdemeanour charge of child abuse. The parents of the two-year-old boy, Max and Laura Oglesby, watched the recording live on 26 October. Ms Rowe was arrested the following day, The New Bern Sun Journal reported.
Mr Oglesby posted the video on Facebook on 27 October, and it’s now been shared more than 5,000 times.
“Laura and I had to make a tough decision this past month to bring a nanny into our home to care for our kids a couple [of] days a week,” he wrote.
“Last night we turned on our cameras in our home while on a break and ran ... to get home ... we are heartbroken for our son and furious that this happened,” he added.
The parents didn’t watch the alleged abuse for two hours but claim they heard the nanny say on video that that’s how long the force-feeding occurred.
“You don’t expect it to happen to yours,” the father told the local paper. “She was recommended to my wife on a Facebook group for New Bern moms. She’s got a check on freaking care.com. I feel like we took the right steps.”
Mr Oglesby claimed the video shows the babysitter restraining his son’s arms and attempting to force-feed him a pot pie.
Major David McFadyen of the Craven County Sheriff’s Office told the outlet that the line between a misdemeanour and felony child abuse charge is the severity of the injury. Unless the child suffers a serious physical or mental injury it’s considered a misdemeanour. The father said the boy was bruised around his arm.
“We put it out there because if people didn’t know, they would still hire her,” he said. The parents were an hour away in Washington, North Carolina renovating a bar when they watched the alleged footage and called on Mr Oglesby’s mother to get to their home in order to take care of the child and for Ms Rowe to leave.
The father said the New Bern Police Department is reviewing footage from the past three weeks that the babysitter worked in the home.
The parents interviewed Ms Rowe before she began working and told her there were cameras in the home.
“She knew that we would be checking in from time to time,” Mr Oglesby told The Sun Journal.
No attorney was listed for Ms Rowe in the police department’s press release announcing the arrest.
“Our life is very busy,” Ms Oglesby told The News & Observer. “We normally have always taken the kids with us to do everything, but the bar is a dangerous place while we’re renovating it. “
“It’s very, very important that you do have cameras because nobody can be trusted,” the mother added.
Ms Rowe’s court date is 8 November. Her bond of $2,500 was posted less than 30 minutes after she was arrested, according to court documents. She’s also scheduled to appear in court on 19 November for speeding, revoked registration, and reckless driving, according to The Sun Journal.
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