A Maryland nanny who force-fed an infant to death has been convicted of child abuse and second-degree murder.
Oluremi Adeleye, also known by the name Oluremi Oyindasola, was found guilty Monday. Prosecutors had claimed the Adeleye, the caretaker of 8-month-old Enita Salubi, had killed the infant by asphyxiation when she forced an excessive amount of milk down her throat on Oct. 24, 2016. Salubi had been taken to the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center, where she was pronounced dead.
“You left home with a live baby and come home with a dead baby,” Influence Salubi, the child's father, said in court, according to The Washington Post. “It’s not something I can forget.”
Footage of the child tugging on Adeleye's dress, rousing her from a nap was presented at the trial. The video shows Adeleye then draining nearly 8 ounces of milk from two bottles into the child's mouth in less than 30 seconds.
Salubi fell to the floor, at which point Adeleye picked her up and tried to give her another bottle. The baby eventually went limp.
Adeleye claimed she in no way intended to cause harm to the baby and that forcing a child to eat through a process called "cup feeding" was customary in her home country of Nigeria. Adeleye’s attorney, Douglas Wood, characterized the death as an accident and therefore not a case of child abuse, as no malice was involved.
“I did what I needed to do to make sure the baby had food in the stomach,” Adeleye said through a Yoruba interpreter.
Prince George’s County Assistant State’s Attorney Artemis Moutsatsos had a different interpretation of the events.
“She was getting her to shut up by pouring down the milk,” said Moutsatsos.
Upon the announcement of the conviction, Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Karen H. Mason added that Adeleye had lied to investigators about unscrewing the top of the bottle before feeding the child, but later admitted the truth when she was told video evidence existed.
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy discussed the role the nanny cam played in the conviction.
“You have two loving, caring parents who did everything right,” Braveboy said. “They interviewed the sitter, they got references and they did their homework and research by all accounts ... but she abused this young child and the reason we were able to prove it is because the parents had the foresight to install a camera.”
Adeleye will be sentenced on May 3, according to CBS Baltimore.
[Photo: Prince George Police Department]
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