When you leave your child with a babysitter, whether it's for an hour or several, you pick someone you feel comfortable with. Often they come recommended by friends or family. Some of us run background checks. It's your absolute worst nightmare that your babysitter turn out to be horrible and do something to your child. But that is unfortunately the sick reality behind whoever hired Laura Jean Shoulders to babysit a 1-year-old girl. Shoulders took the opportunity to film herself committing sexual acts on the toddler and share it with pedophiles.
Shoulders pleaded guilty to producing child pornography and will spend 27 years in prison with no chance for parole. Reportedly, she began conversing with a man she met on Craigslist and began exchanging sexually explicit text messages with him. That then escalated to her videotaping herself as she abused the child whose care was entrusted to her.
She made three different videos and sent them to the man, who then shared them online with other pedos.
I just can't imagine how this girl's family felt when they discovered this. Since the woman babysat more than once, they obviously trusted her. I think it's easy to say, "They didn't check her out thoroughly enough," but how many people run background checks on babysitters? And even if you do, plenty of these people have committed no crimes. Additionally, as someone who HAS run background checks, websites that do it are inaccurate quite a bit of the time.
Most of us use a babysitter who comes recommended. After all, if a friend uses a babysitter and is pleased, you're much more likely to implicitly trust that person.
Of course, you can always set up cameras in every room of your house, but there are ways of getting around that too.
Thank goodness that the vast majority of babysitters are wonderful and something like this is less common than the good babysitter. But the family must be devastated.
How thoroughly do you check out your sitter?
Image via Burns Flat, Oklahoma Police