Deputies: Intoxicated nanny whipped 8-month-old baby girl with towel

Deputies: Intoxicated nanny whipped 8-month-old baby girl with towel

SARASOTA (WWSB) - Deputies say a nanny admitted to getting drunk and then using a towel to whip an 8-month-old baby girl when the child wouldn’t stop crying.

Sarai Rivera, 25 of Sarasota has been charged with two counts of child abuse. She was arrested Tuesday, April 9 on the 600 block of Cattle Bridge Boulevard after deputies say she admitted abusing the 8-month-old girl and her 2-year-old brother.

Deputies say on Friday, April 5 the parents of the victims went out on a date and left Rivera in charge of their children. When they returned, the parents say they found several bruises on their daughter’s face and under her chin and a bruise to their son’s neck.

The parents asked Rivera what happened and say she told them that the bruise under their daughter’s eye had come from their son throwing a toy at her. As for the bruise on their son, the parents say Rivera told them she kissed him too hard while playing with him and gave him a “hickie” by accident.

Deputies went with the parents to have their children evaluated by a medical professional, who determined the bruising to the little girl was not accidental in nature. The medical professional found the bruise under her chin was “consistent with an intentional grab" and the bruise to the top of her right ear was from a “pinch or grab to the ear." The bruise to the little boy was also “consistent with a pinch.”

Rivera agreed to meet deputies, who say she told them she takes medication for her depression and that sometimes it causes her to “snap” and “become irritable.” Deputies say Rivera told them she had gotten drunk on rum after the parents had left for their date and that she became frustrated when the 8-month-old infant would not stop crying.

Deputies say Rivera admitted using a towel to whip the little girl twice in the face. As for the bruise on the 2-year-old boy, she told deputies she was playing a tickling game with him and it could have been from a pinch or “sucking on his neck to hard.”

Rivera was arrested and charged with two counts of child abuse. She was taken to be evaluated by mental health professionals under the Baker Act after deputies say she made admissions about self harm and the “desire to die.”

No mugshot was currently available from the sheriff’s office.

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