LAUREL HOLLOW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- She was hired to take care of an infant, but now she's being charged with assault.
A Long Island mother said she watched her nanny cam in horror as her nanny illegally forced medication down her 4-month-old baby's throat.
The nanny was fired and arrested, CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan reports.
Anneliese Brucato, 48, hung her head; her distraught sobs later filled a courtroom. She offered no explanation why, but prosecutors said the nanny admitted to forcing what is being described as a generic brand of liquid Benadryl down the throat of the infant.
Police tell 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera a nanny-cam caught the suspect giving a child medication illegally
"Thank goodness the baby is okay -- that is all we are saying," defense attorney Cary David Kessler said.
According to investigators, the nanny bought antihistamine medication at a Rite Aid. The pharmacist said diphenhydramine is never to be used in children under 4 years of age and that it says so clearly on the packaging.
Police claim the nanny secreted the allergy medicine -- along with an eyedropper -- inside the Laurel Hollow home where the nanny was hired six weeks ago.
When the mom recently returned to work, she set up computer cameras to keep an eye on her baby, never dreaming that the nanny who came with such glowing references would allegedly put her baby's life at risk.
"She took this dropper, placed it into a substance, a bottle which she took out of her pants, took some of that liquid and administered it to baby who was laying on table," Nassau County Police Detective Lt. Kevin Smith said.
Police said the incident was witnessed on a live video feed, but the family had surveillance footage recording on their computer. Going back over images it appears detectives said the nanny may have done this three other times -- to make the baby drowsy, against the wishes of the parents. Doctors said the allergy medicine could have caused seizures, convulsions, even death.
"It should never be used by a nanny -- even a parent -- without some medical advice, because a little bit of something to a very young baby can be an overwhelming overdose," said Dr. Michael Frogel of Nassau University Medical Center.
Brucato is charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child. She will be back in court on Wednesday.
The infant girl was examined and is doing fine.
Investigators are reaching out to families who employed Brucato over the past 10 years, trying to determine if there were other incidents. She's being held on $30,000 bond.
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