A Connecticut nanny was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Tuesday for abusing three children she was supposed to be caring for. Thirty-two-year-old Lidia Quilligana sobbed and apologized to the family in court.
Quilligana worked for the family for a year before they became suspicious about potential abuse after their 3-year-old daughter suffered a black eye and burnt hands, Newstimes reports. The nanny claimed the injuries were from the child standing on a chair next to the stove but the family wasn’t completely buying the story.
So, in 2014, they set up a hidden nanny camera. What it recorded was beyond what they imagined. The nanny cam captured 10 days worth of child abuse. In one incident, Quilligana swung the 3-year-old around by her hair. In another, she slapped a child across the face.
“I couldn’t control myself. Believe me, I loved those children with all my heart. I’m sorry a thousand times,” Quilligana said through a translator in court.
“To be frank, I’m not the one you should apologize to,” the children’s mother responded. “You need to own up to what you did and serve your time. There is no excuse for your behavior.”
Assistant State’s Attorney Warren Murray said the videos revealed that the nanny abused the kids for 10 days straight.
“The abuse occurred virtually every day that we have video for. While Lidia may seem petite, she was big enough to casually pick up a 3-year-old girl and swing her around by the hair, much like a track star swings a hammer. It was just so disturbing. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Attorney Jenn Tunnard, who represented Quilligana, claimed that she disciplined the children the only way she knew how, according to Newstimes.
”Her father, who drank heavily, would hang Lidia and her siblings by their legs and beat them until they bled,” she said. ”While the public may see my client as a monster, she is really a sad person who lost control.”
[Photo: Danbury Police Department]