Police charge nanny caught on tape

March 11, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
Cary Police filed charges Wednesday against a nanny caught on tape last month mistreating two infant boys in her care.The boys' mother spoke to Eyewitness News about the child abuse charges.

A nanny cam disguised as a clock on Lindsey Addison's mantel captured shocking images.

The nanny, 26-year-old Stephanie Merrill, is seen carrying Addison's 7-month-old twin boys upside down. Merrill is also seen leaving the infants unattended several times.

Addison watched it unfold from her work PC with the assistance of real-time Web access which gave her a live look inside the living room.

"The first day we had it running," Addison said. "This is what we saw, and I was just appalled."

Addison fired Merrill that same day and called Cary Police.

"I wanted her not to be involved with children and for something to be on her criminal background and that was what was important to me as police pursued this," Addison said.

Investigators and the Wake County District Attorney's Office decided to charge Merrill with two counts of child abuse after viewing a day's worth of hidden video.

"I'm relieved," the mother said. But she fear Merrill may try to get another job.

"I had seen and heard from a couple people that she had actually been out interviewing for nanny positions and that was my biggest fear that she was going to go and be with someone else -- be with another family," Addison said.

For now Cary Police say that's not the case.

"We have [talked to] Stephanie Merrill [and] she indicated to us that the jobs she is seeking are not child related -- they are administrative jobs," Cary Police Chief Pat Baxemore said.

But it will ultimately be up to a judge to decide if Merrill is guilty, what her punishment will be and if she'll ever work with children again.

Merrill is scheduled to appear in a Wake County courtroom on May 1.


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