“I couldn’t control myself”.
“Believe me, I loved those children with all my heart. I’m sorry a thousand times”
Former Nanny accused of burning and beating three toddlers as part of daily torture routine apologized to victims’ family
Lidia Quilligana, has been sentenced to 15 years after pleading guilty to abusing and torturing three children, a three-year-old and one-year-old twins in 2015
Quilligana, 32, a native of Ecuador, in July pled guilty to second-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor
Nanny cam caught Quilligana in March 2015 burning a 3-year-old’s hands and legs on a hot stove and swinging her by the hair
The horror nanny also beat the toddler and abused her 1-year-old twin siblings in Danbury, Connecticut
Former nanny admitted to child abuse. She has been sentenced to 15 years after pleading guilty to abusing and torturing three children, ages three and one, in 2015
A Connecticut nanny accused of burning a 3-year-old’s hand and leg on a hot stove, swinging her by her hair and trapping her inside a toy chest will spend the next 15 years in prison.
Judge Kevin Russo sentenced Lidia Quilligana, 32, during an emotionally charged sentencing hearing on Tuesday, six weeks after she entered a guilty pled to reduced charges of second-degree assault, downgraded from first-degree assault in exchange for pleading guilty to 24 counts of risk of injury to a minor.
Quilligana pled guilty to some charges under the Alford doctrine, meaning she doesn’t agree with all the evidence but acknowledges there’s enough for a conviction.
The child minder, an immigrant from Ecuador with three children of her own, was arrested in 2015 in Danbury after she was caught on a hidden camera repeatedly abusing her employers’ 3-year-old girl and 1-year-old twin siblings, according to The News-Times.
Prosecutors say she also ripped hair out of the children’s heads.
A defense attorney called Quilligana’s actions ‘unfathomable’ at Tuesday’s sentencing, but said she was not a ‘monster’ but ‘a sad person who lost control.’
The attorney also said Quilligana was abused as a child at the hands of her drunkard father and was using the only discipline she knew.
Lidia Quilligana, pictured in court in March 2015 after her arrest, said during her sentencing that she loved the victims but could not control herself.
“I couldn’t control myself,” Quilligana, 32, said Tuesday through a Superior Court interpreter. “Believe me, I loved those children with all my heart. I’m sorry a thousand times.”
An unmollified the mother of the children, a 3-year-old girl and 1-year-old twins, subjected to what prosecutors described as “torture” by Quilligana, remained unimpressed. Authorities have said video from a “nanny cam” showed her holding the 3-year-old’s hands and legs to a hot stove, slapping her and dragging her around by their hair.
“To be frank, I’m not the one you should apologize to,” the mother of the victims said in a brief statement to the court. “You need to own up to what you did and serve your time. There is no excuse for your behavior.”
“I can’t even fathom what these children went through that wasn’t caught on video,” added the children’s godmother. “I can’t imagine spending day after day with this torture. These were all babies.”
An advocate for the three victims said the abuse suffered by the 3-year-old girl and her younger siblings could only be described as torture.
Quilligana had worked for the family for about a year when the abuse came to light. At the time of her arrest in March 2015, she was pregnant with her third child.
The family had set up the nanny camera in December 2014 after suspecting that something was happening to their eldest daughter.
On March 27, 2015, incident, the child’s mother had come home from work when she saw her daughter’s burned hands and black eye and asked Quilligana what happened, according to court records.
Emotional: ‘Torture Nanny’ Quilligana, wept in court in March 2015 after her arrest
An arrest warrant said the nanny told the mother the child had placed a chair next to the stove and accidentally burned her hands before falling and injuring her head on one of the stove’s knobs.
But surreptitiously recorded video showed that it was Quilligana who dragged the toddler to the hot stove and placed her hands and legs against the burners.
The girl suffered from second-degree burns,..
‘There was an amount of sustained and depraved cruelty that I’ve never seen before,’ said attorney Sharon Dornfeld, who was appointed to represent the victims. ‘She tortured those children.’
According to the prosecution, the nanny cam recorded 10 days’ worth of abuse in March 2015, showing Quilligana, among other things, causally picking up the three-year-old girl by the hair and swinging her around, ‘much like a track star swing a hammer,’ said Assistant State’s Attorney Warren Murray.
At another point in the recording, which has been sealed by the judge, Quilligana could be seen letting the toddler out of a toy box, where she had been confined, and ordering her to go upstairs, only to viciously slap the child across the face.
‘I couldn’t control myself,’ Quilligana said Tuesday through an interpreter. ‘Believe me, I loved those children with all my heart. I’m sorry a thousand times.’
The victims’ mother rejected the nanny’s apology and said in a statement there was no excuse for her conduct.
The judge agreed. In handing down the 15-year sentence, Russo conceded it was inadequate.
“The punishment doesn’t even come close to fitting the crime,” he said.