Child Abuse Caught on Nanny Camera Could Lead to Kentucky Registry
When Lexington, Ky. mother Tiffany Fields noticed her son Luke acting differently, she installed a nanny cam to monitor her babysitter—the resulting tape has sent shockwaves all the way to the Kentucky House of Representatives.
Luke is four years old and suffers from Down syndrome as well as heart defects and epilepsy; conditions that require him to receive round-the-clock care. Fields hired caregiver Lillian D. White to look after Luke in June, and shortly thereafter noticed some behavioral changes in her son.
After installing a nanny camera, Fields' worst fears came to light. The shocking footage, which features White dragging Luke, pinning him down, and verbally abusing him, spurred the concerned mother to call police. Watch some of the footage at WBTV Charlotte.
"Once (Fields) looked at it, to her shock, she saw that her child was not only being physically abused but also verbally abused," said Dale Golden, an attorney who is representing the family.
White was charged with criminal abuse, a charge to which she pleaded not guilty in October. The mother's battle was just beginning, however.
The Fields' case was taken up by Kentucky State Representative Dennis Keene, who has since filed a bill aiming to implement a caregiver registry, allowing concerned parents to screen nannies based on records of abuse or neglect.
"A lady came to me and her child was abused—a little girl named Sophie—and that's why we named it Sophie's Law," Keene told local reporters.
Sophie's Law was prefiled by Keene in September, and has since been introduced as an official bill. The bill, now known as Kylie Jo Sizemore's Law, is currently pending the Kentucky House Judiciary Committee.
If passed, the registry will be the second in the U.S.; the only other state with such a registry is Indiana.
If you're concerned about child abuse at the hands of your nanny, check out this post from BabyCenter that lists potential warning signs.