HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A woman has been charged with child abuse after "nanny cams" showed her bashing a baby on the kitchen floor and forcefully shaking the 5-month-old girl, police said.
But the woman's attorney said the fact that the baby was not hurt suggests the images -- aired on national news shows -- are misleading.
One clip shows Claudia Muro, 29, raising the baby above her head and "slamming her on the floor three or possibly four times," according to a police report by Officer Susan J. Hayes released Friday. Muro's back is to the camera, and the lower view of the baby is blocked by the woman's body.
In another clip, Muro held the girl up and shook her. Her head snapped back and forth several times "like a rag doll," police spokesman Tony Rode said. The woman then placed the baby in her lap and kissed her forehead.
The baby was unhurt, police said.
Muro was arrested Thursday on four counts of felony child abuse, authorities said. She was being held Tuesday at the North Broward Detention Facility (search) on $152,000 bond, plus an immigration hold as officials attempt to determine her citizenship status. She is from Peru.
Allison Gilman, an attorney hired by Muro's family, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (search) that because the cameras did not capture real-time images, the movements are displayed faster and more dramatically than they actually occurred. She added that although police said the baby was slammed against the floor, the floor is not visible in the images.
"If what the police say happened was true, then how could there not be injuries?" Gilman told the newspaper. "People are crucifying this woman before all the facts are out."
After-hours messages left at Gilman's office by The Associated Press were not returned Tuesday.
The parents installed the undercover cameras after their daughter started crying and squirming when she was turned over to Muro.
"I hope this woman never touches another child, is never allowed to work with children again," the mother, Jennifer Schwartz, said Friday. "I handed my daughter to her and when I left she became a monster."
There were no apparent injuries to the child until the parents noticed what looked like a bite mark on her cheek and took her to the hospital Wednesday. The parents went home to review the tapes and were shocked at what they saw.
The first-time parents -- a former prosecutor and a social worker -- said they thought they had done everything right when they hired Muro to take care of their child after reviewing nine applicants. They hired her through an agency, hired a private investigator, checked her references and ran background checks.
"A stranger with glowing recommendations is still a stranger. No one really knows who they are," said the father, Brett Schwartz.