Truckee day care provider charged in shaken baby case
A Truckee day-care provider was charged Monday with felony child abuse for allegedly shaking a 5-month-old girl in her care so hard the infant suffered serious brain injuries.
According to the Truckee Police Department, Julie Rogers, 30, the owner of Snowy Mountain Daycare, reported on Jan. 18 that she tripped and fell with the infant in her arms. However, doctors at Tahoe Forest Hospital, where the child was initially taken, were unable to find any external injuries to the baby, and Rogers soon became the focus of a criminal investigation.
When she was brought in by paramedics, the baby was found to have severe internal injuries consistent with the violent shaking of an infant, also known as Shaken Baby Syndrome. The baby girl was later airlifted to the Washoe Medical Center Pediatric Intensive Unit due to brain hemorrhaging. She was treated and later released to her parents.
Medical staff at Tahoe Forest Hospital notified Truckee police detectives and the Nevada County Child Protective Services agency, and investigators interviewed Rogers and the infant’s parents.
Detectives working with pediatric specialists from Washoe Medical Center, Sutter-Roseville Hospital and the UC Davis Medical Center continued the criminal investigation, which focused on Rogers because she was allegedly the only person present when the baby’s injuries occurred.
Rogers’ license to provide child care has temporarily been revoked by the California Community Care Licensing Division, pending a hearing in regard to the current allegations of child abuse.
In addition, Rogers’ own children were placed in temporary foster care by Child Protective Services due to allegations of child abuse within her own family, according to Truckee police. Further charges may be filed stemming from those allegations.
Rogers’ children have since been returned to the care of her husband.
Rogers has been scheduled for arraignment on June 6 in the Nevada County Superior Court in Truckee.
There is no one type of person who commits Shaken Baby Syndrome, according to Jackie Herring, child development manager with Sierra Nevada Children’s Services.
“Many parents and caregivers don’t realize how serious shaking a baby can be,” she said.
About 25 percent of baby shaking incidents end in death for the infant, and many end in brain damage for the child, according to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.
“Basically what you’re doing is shaking the baby’s brain against the skull,” she said.
The best way to avoid shaking a baby is to leave the baby in a safe place, walk away and count to 10. Baby Shaking Syndrome typically occurs after a an adult gets frustrated with a baby’s crying, Herring said, so many times it’s best just to walk away.
Sierra Sun assistant editor Renee Shadforth and Roman Gokhman of The Union contributed to this story.