Westerville News & Public Opinion

Woman charged after camera records abuse

Child's reaction to baby sitter prompts mother to set up video monitoring


A 22-year-old baby sitter was arrested by Westerville police May 29 after officers said surveillance video showed her abusing a 2-year-old child in her care.

Rebecca S. Sanders, 22, of East state Route 37 in Sunbury was charged with child endangerment, a third-degree felony.

Westerville police said the child's mother became suspicious after her child seemed more upset than normal when being left with the baby sitter. The mother set up a video camera to monitor the sitter, police said.

"Mom was noticing that her 2-year-old was getting a little upset ... more upset than normal," said Lt. Paul Scowden of the Westerville Police Department.

"The child's demeanor had just changed recently and whenever she was getting ready to leave her around this baby sitter. .

"There were some things that were coming up missing, as well."

Within nine minutes of the mother leaving, Scowden said, the abuse started, as recorded by the camera.

"You saw the baby sitter carry the baby into the room and drop the child, probably from mid-thigh (or) waste level down to the ground," Scowden said. "You can't see it, but you can tell that she has her foot on the child."

Scowden said someone watching the video can tell the baby sitter is doing something to cause the child pain with her foot.

Less than an hour later, as the child is lying calmly on the floor, Sanders is caught on camera pulling the child across the floor by her arm and spanking her, Scowden said.

The child begins crying, and Sanders tries to calm her for a few minutes, Scowden said, but then she shoves the child off the couch.

The child attempts to run away, but Sanders continues to pull her roughly back toward her and torment her, Scowden said.

"It was almost like she was goading the child at certain points," Scowden said.

Sanders confessed to abusing the child and taking items from the home, police said.

She told police she had been abusing the child for about three weeks and said she was working multiple jobs and overwhelmed, Sanders said.

She was taken into custody by police and taken to the Franklin County jail, police said.