No jail time for nurse caught on camera abusing child

DOUGLAS COUNTY - The nurse seen on video being rough with a 10-year-old disabled child will have to take anger management classes and do community service. She will not go to jail.

In an agreement reached with Douglas County prosecutors, Angela Vonnida pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor child abuse.

The family of 10-year-old Aislinn Shelley wanted a felony conviction.

“When someone hurts your child, there is no punishment that will ever make you feel whole and that will ever make you feel safe, we understand that” said Leora Joseph, Managing Chief Deputy District Attorney at the 18th Judicial District. “The job of the District Attorney’s office is to represent a broader justice interest, not simply that of an individual family.”

Aislinn has special needs. She has a cognitive ability of a 6-month-old. The family hired Vonnida through an agency to care for her this summer.

Aislinn's family says even though they didn't get what they wanted in court, Aislinn still had a voice.

Aislinn’s mom Michelle told 9Wants To Know she hoped Vonnida got the help she needed.

“I'm hoping that with this type of an event in our lives we can move forward and make a difference for other families,” Michelle said. “Whether that be reaching out and changing the way that laws are right now, or enhancing them, such as background checks. I'm not sure what's that's going to be. But it's going to be something that helps the community. That helps protect my kind of you will, so that another mother isn't sitting in a courtroom horrified by what she's seen on a video or what she thinks may have been happening to her child.”

Prosecutors say a lot goes into considering people's punishment.

Including prior criminal record.

Vonnida didn't have that 9NEWS found in Colorado.

As part of the plea agreement, Vonnida got three years of probation.

During that time, she's not allowed to care for children or special needs patients.

“We had to really focus down significant amount of time understanding which of these behaviors is aggressive care,” Joseph said, “something we would never want for our children, but not a crime, not a crime which behavior can I point to and say that is assaultive.”

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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