LIVERMORE (KRON) — The 20-year-old nanny accused of suffocating a 13-month-old boy she was babysitting pleaded not guilty to felony child abuse charges Friday during her arraignment in Pleasanton.
Moriah Gonzalez, of Livermore, was arrested on Feb. 19 after a hidden nanny camera allegedly caught her trying to smother a baby that wouldn’t stop crying.
Gonzales, who was hired through the popular babysitting website Care.com, held her sister’s hand as she walked into court Friday morning with her attorney and her mother.
She pleaded not guilty to one count of felony child abuse and was ordered under a prosecutors protection order to stay away from anyone 18 years old or younger. She is also not allowed anywhere near the 13-month-old boy.
According to police, the parents of the boy, identified only as Amanda and Nicole, reported the abuse on Feb. 18 and turned over the video footage of the alleged abuse.
In the video, Gonzales allegedly held her hand over the boy’s face to muffle his cry until he goes limp, according to the police reports.
Before her arrest, Gonzales gave police a story that was “inconsistent” to the video and denied hurting the boy in any way, police said.
In court, the attorney disputes what happened and argues that the allegations are an “interpretation” by police. He said she never hurt any child.
When asked by KRON 4’s Terisa Estacio if there are any other potential victims, the attorney said no, because she did not victimize any children.
Care.com released a statement saying that they are “deeply troubled by this incident” and that “the safety of our community is of paramount importance to us.”
But Gonzales’ attorney, William DuBois, said that Gonzales didn’t harm the boy and he thinks the case against her is “way over-charged.”
DuBois said a pediatrician who examined the boy after the incident in which Gonzales allegedly hurt him “found that there were no injuries whatsoever.”
DuBois said he believes there are “some inaccuracies” in Burruss’ probable cause statement and he doesn’t think the boy’s parents were concerned about the video footage because they had Gonzales take the boy to a
park after they saw the video instead of asking her to leave immediately.
He said, “Nothing I’ve seen so far indicates that a felony was committed.”
At Gonzales’ hearing in Alameda County Superior Court in Pleasanton, Judge Jacob Blea issued an order requiring Gonzales to stay away from children under the age of 18.
When Gonzales returns to court on April 8 Blea will hold a hearing on DuBois’ request to modify that order.
Gonzales is free on $100,000 bail.