Aisling McCarthy Brady: Quincy nanny charged after death of Cambridge baby (UPDATED)
The lawyer of a nanny accused of killing a 1-year-old Cambridge girl she was caring for suggested that the baby may have died from symptoms from vaccines rather than by abuse from her client.
Aisling McCarthy Brady, 34, of Quincy, pleaded not guilty during her arraignment this morning to assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury. She was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail.
Brady had been caring for Rehma Sabir for about six months. She told authorities that on Jan. 14, the child’s birthday, she was feeding Sabir lunch and noticed that the baby eventually slumped over in her highchair and that her eyes looked “sleepy,” according to prosecutors. She put her to bed and then noticed that at about 4:30 she was having a seizure in her crib.
Police were called to the house and Sabir was taken to Boston Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced brain dead and died two days later.
Doctors diagnosed her with subdural and retinal hemorrhaging and cerebral swelling caused by “abusive head trauma,” authorities said. She also appeared to be healing from multiple bone fractures.
Authorities said that Sabir’s parents were out on the day she fell ill and that Brady was the only person to have direct contact with her on that day.
Her head injuries were more consistent with violent shaking, said Assistant District Attorney Katharine Folger, adding that the charges would likely be upgraded to homicide.
“She was otherwise a healthy, normal and growing baby,” said Folger.
Folger also said that Brady has no criminal record, but does have two restraining orders against her. The details of those restraining orders were not immediately known.
Brady’s attorney, Melinda Thompson, said that her client has no idea what happened to the child. She suggested that Sabir may have fallen ill because of complications from vaccines that have symptoms similar to shaken baby syndrome. She also said that something could have happened to Sabir who Brady did not care for because the child and her parents recently visited England, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
“She’s devastated,” Thompson said of Brady. “She called 911. She went to the hospital with the family … She was mourning this child with this family.”
Thompson said Brady was married about a year ago and has worked as a nanny for 13 years for children whose parents are lawyers and doctors and had no other incidents involving child care.
No one answered the door this afternoon at the Cambridge apartment where the child lived with her parents.