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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

May 26, 2010 at 2:43 PM

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Babysitter charged after 9-month-old suffers brain injuries

Posted by Jennifer Sullivan

An 18-year-old Auburn woman was charged Wednesday with first-degree child assault after authorities say she slammed a nine-month-old boy to the floor out of frustration with his crying.

Dotty Reed was babysitting the child at her Auburn home last Thursday when she grabbed the crying baby out of his walker and "put him down on the floor, setting him down really hard on his bottom, causing his head to snap forward," according to charging documents filed in King County Superior Court. Reed said that the boy then fell backward after she put him in his playpen. The baby stopped crying and went to sleep, charging papers said.

Reed soon noticed that the child was limp and she dialed 911, charging papers said.

Doctors at Seattle Children's hospital said that the boy suffered a severe brain injury and may not survive, charging papers said. Reed was arrested Friday.

Reed was hired to baby-sit the boy and his 1-year-old sister after parents of the children found Reed through Craigslist. The little girl was not hurt.

Reed is being held at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent in lieu of $150,000 bail.

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