A Greece woman accused of shaking an infant who was under her care pleaded guilty in Rochester City Court Wednesday. Jamie Allen, 32, was charged with reckless assault of a child.
It's a challenge working parents face. Finding someone you trust to care for your child while you're at work. One mother thought she found the perfect match; a woman she knew since high school. It turned out to be a nightmare.
"I was completely sick to my stomach,” said Kristie Hartranft.
Looking back, Kristie Hartranft says there were no red flags in sight. It was a routine day, until she received a phone call at work from the babysitter. Her four month-old-son Dominic was violently vomiting and crying. After countless tests, the doctor found fluid on the baby's brain.
"He said he has hemorrhages in his eyes, quite a few."
Dominic was suffering from shaken baby syndrome, intentional shaking that can cause severe brain damage and is often fatal.
"Who has the heart to do this to a baby?”
Dominic was taken out of his mother's care for two weeks until child services could determine who was responsible.
"My son was taken from me and I didn't even do anything wrong, that was the hardest part for me."
In court Wednesday, Jamie Allen pleaded guilty to reckless assault of a child by a child daycare provider. Allen and her attorney declined to comment on the case.
Assistant District Attorney Andra Ackerman says these cases happen more than they are reported.
"Most often it's reckless, understanding the risks and doing it anyway out of frustration. The injury that happened to this child happened in seconds," Ackerman said.
It was just long enough. Dominic suffered from hemorrhages and was blind in one eye for several months.
"They cry because they need something, you don't pick up a child and shake them you don't abuse them because they're crying,” said Kristie.
Allen watched Dominic five days a week, along with other small children. They have since been taken out of her care.
While doctors anticipate Dominic will make a full recovery, the fear of her child being hurt while she's at work is almost too much to bear.
"I'm terrified to put him in an in-home daycare, I will always be afraid – I don't think that will ever go away."
As part of Allen's plea deal, she received a sentence of five years probation and will no longer be able to work in childcare.
Sentencing is March 18th.