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Former Utah nanny gets probation on child abuse charges

Published June 3, 2013 2:51 pm

Courts • Woman who cared for twins with broken bones must have no unsupervised contact with children.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Park City • More than hatred, anger or despair, Sarah Tuefing said she harbors gratitude toward the Salt Lake City nanny who left her 2-month-old babies with bruises and broken bones.

She's grateful, she said, because Aubrey Alta Anderson did not kill her babies. She's grateful the twins show no sign of permanent disability; grateful that her family remains whole.

But she's also afraid.

"Her actions were more than an accident, more than lack of impulse control, more than anger," Tuefing told a 3rd District Court judge on Monday. "I believe she will hurt again."

That's why the mother asked Judge Todd Shaughnessy to ban Anderson, 32, from being left alone with any children during her five-year probation.

During Anderson's sentencing hearing, the judge ruled she may have no unsupervised contact with any children under the age of 14 that are not members of her immediate family.

The ban on all personal contact with children was the only change to a deal with prosecutors that spared Anderson any additional time behind bars in exchange for guilty pleas on two counts of third-degree felony child abuse, each carrying a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Anderson has been in custody since her June 2012 arrest and faces possible extradition to Belgium, where she is under investigation for multiple fractures suffered by twins she cared for in that country.

She did not speak during Monday's hearing.

Her long dark hair swished from sided to side as she shook her head in response to the mother's tearful accusations.

"My babies…could neither defend themselves nor tell anyone about their terror or abuse," Tuefing said. "These crimes were so ugly because the victims, Kalvin and Grace, were infants."

Tuefing bit her lip as she returned to her seat, leaning on her husband and wiping tears from her face. For a moment, her eyes lingered on a 10-week-old baby cooing softly in the courtroom gallery.

The baby, a blue-eyed girl with whips of light hair and full cheeks, is Anderson's niece.

"We stand by [Anderson's] innocence and hope that now we can put all this behind us," her brother, Ashley Anderson, said after the hearing as his wife stood near, holding their infant daughter. "We are glad the babies are OK."

Anderson pleaded guilty to the child abuse charges in April, but prosecutors said Monday she has refused to apologize or account for her actions.

According to charging documents, a five-month investigation was launched when the 2-month-old twins were admitted to Primary Children's Medical Center with bruises and bone fractures.

Tuefing and her husband, Dan Lemaitre, were initially treated as suspects. They were cleared of any wrongdoing, as was another nanny who took care of the children.

But Anderson's attorney, Clayton Simms, has argued that Anderson had no more evidence linking her to the twins' injuries than did the other three adults who took care of the infants.

During their investigation, detectives learned Anderson also was under scrutiny by authorities in Belgium after she allegedly fled the country when two twins she cared for there were discovered to have multiple bone fractures.

Anderson was also ordered Monday to wear an ankle monitor for up to a year after her release, because of a perceived flight-risk, and to pay $5,182 in restitution.

mlang@sltrib.com

Twitter: marissa_jae