Los Angeles Times, June 25, 1997
Abusive Nanny Video Taped in the Act, Gets 90 Days
By Hope Hamashige
SANTA ANA--A nanny caught on videotape abusing her charge was recently sentenced to 90 days in jail by Orange County Superior Court Judge Frank Fasel after she pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of corporal punishment.
"I am not thrilled with this at all," said Robert Cruz of La Habra, the father of the 8-month-old victim. Cruz said he had hoped Elva Ochoa Zaragoza, 37, would spend time in state prison for abusing his daughter.
Cruz of La Habra said he secretly videotaped Zaragoza alone with the child after he found she had bruises.
The videotape showed Zaragoza neglected and abused the baby, Cruz said. She left the infant unattended for long periods of time. When she did tend to the child, she yanked her out of her playpen by the wrists and swatted her, Cruz said.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Michelle Clesceri, who prosecuted Zaragoza, said the district attorney's office, which had hoped for a stiffer sentence, was not involved in the deal that the defendant reached with the court.
Clesceri said the 90-day sentence was decided upon after Orange County Superior Court Judge David O. Carter also reviewed the videotape.
Since the baby did not suffer permanent injuries, Carter decided a prison sentence for the nanny was unwarranted, the prosecutor said.