Local News

'Nanny-cam' nanny must take child safety classes

Posted July 17, 2008

— A woman caught handling twin infants roughly on a "nanny-cam" video recorded by her employer entered an Alford plea Thursday on misdemeanor child abuse charges.

Authorities charged Stephanie Merrill in March with two counts of "child abuse – putting a child at risk for injury" after viewing video of Merrill interacting with Lindsay Addison's 7-month-old boys.

An Alford plea means Merrill does not admit guilt but acknowledges that there is enough evidence to convict her of the charges.

She was ordered to take an eight-month child safety course and sentenced to 30 hours of community service. Also, she is prohibited from caring for any children other than her own for a year.

"In an effort to seek justice and to try and facilitate the best result for the people of the state, I think that it serves the interest that she has an ability to learn from this and hopefully provide even better care for her own children," Wake County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Lattour said.

Merrill had no comment after the sentencing. Addison said she and her family are relieved.

"We're actually pleased to kind of have it off our plate – it will always be there. But we're happy there's somewhat of a resolution," Addison said. "She is getting punished for what she did. She has to pay the price."

The Feb. 12 video showed Merrill leaving one infant unattended on the couch and the other falling from her chest into the side of the couch as she works a television remote control.

In another video, Merrill is holding one child upside-down and grabbing and moving the twins by their sleepers.

Addison installed the hidden camera in January to monitor the activities of her 7-month-old twins, Gavin and Bryce, when she went back to work. The twins, who were born prematurely, were not healthy enough to go to day care.

Addison said she confronted Merrill about her actions and fired her the same day she watched the real-time video on her computer at work.


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  • NCTeacher Jul 18, 2008

    Lay off the mother. There are ALOT of reasons women go back to work after having children. It isn't always just about the money. Many go back to work because they need that "adult time" and that interaction out of their home. Just because someone has children doesn't mean they should be confined to their house caring for them 24/7 until they are 18 years old.

  • haggis basher Jul 18, 2008

    only a year? would they be allowed to order more than that. She seems terminally unsuited for looking after kids. Those videos make me wince every time I see them.

  • anne53ozzy Jul 17, 2008

    The outcome makes me wonder if someone in her family "knows" someone higher up or ....whatever...This woman should not be permitted to be a paid caretaker of children EVER again. A class is clearly not going to fix her innate lack of sensibility of her apparently sadistic treatment of these babies. It appears the couch is made of leather....if that little one that rolled toward the cushion had his/her face against that for a minute or two, the outcome her would have been tragic.

  • teacher-mom Jul 17, 2008

    She needs avout a year in jaul. She should never be allowed to work around children.

  • sartainfamily Jul 17, 2008

    So women aren't allowed to work and have career goals just because they have kids? Oh my goodness. I thought this was 2008, not 1958.

  • millindsay Jul 17, 2008

    Think before you have children? If you yourself can not look after them. Do you really think someone off the street will?

  • PA Girl BA Jul 17, 2008

    Cricket on the Lake - that is a presumptuous statement to say "why have kids if you aren't going to stay home with them." Your comment struck a nerve with me. Perhaps the mother planned to stay home, but a financial crisis diverted her plans and she had to go back to work. You cannot judge a person because they have to go to work and cannot stay home with their kids. Do you have kids? If so, perhaps you have a husband or partner who makes enough to take care of all the household bills. Not everyone is that lucky and can afford to stay home. Some of us have to work and contribute to the household expenses. Consider yourself fortunate and do not judge others.

  • cnaatmg Jul 17, 2008

    I cant believe that this crazy nanny this is all the punishment that she gets she should have got more. She knew what she was doing and she needs more than she's getting.

  • denverbob234 Jul 17, 2008

    tchr313, if you can afford a nanny, you can afford to stay home. Priorites are really getting messed up in this country

  • denverbob234 Jul 17, 2008

    cabswife, Thank you very much.