Prosecutors: Hoffman Estates babysitter caused devastating injuries

Updated 2/21/2018 6:30 PM
  • Delfina Bautista

    Delfina Bautista

A 5-month-old Hoffman Estates girl is in critical condition after authorities say she suffered a devastating neurological injury at the hands of her babysitter.

Delfina Bautista, 31, was charged with aggravated battery of a child causing great bodily harm after she shook the infant six to 10 times Friday night and failed to call paramedics, prosecutors said.

Bautista was ordered held on $500,000 bail Wednesday. If convicted, she faces up to 30 years in prison.

Doctors diagnosed the infant with "nonaccidental brain trauma," commonly known as shaken baby syndrome. She is in the neonatal ICU at Amita Health St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates. As a result of her injuries, she will "most likely be unable to walk, talk, see or hear" and will require "constant institutional nursing care" for the rest of her life, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Caitlin Casey.

Bautista, who has a 7-year-old and 11-month-old twins and is pregnant, began baby-sitting for the infant about a month ago, Casey said.

According to Casey, Bautista shook the baby because she would not stop crying.

About 9 p.m. Bautista went to pick up her boyfriend, leaving the infant and her twin toddlers in the care of the 7-year-old, Casey said. Bautista said when she returned home, she noticed the baby was having difficulty breathing, Casey said.

After the mother inquired about her baby, Bautista sent a photo of the girl and texted that she was sleeping, Casey said. Not long after, she texted the baby's mother saying she could no longer baby-sit for the girl, Casey said.

The mother picked up her child about 11 p.m. thinking she was sleeping, Casey said. Later, a relative noticed she was having trouble breathing. The women called Bautista to ask if there had been an accident, Casey said. Bautista told them one of the twins had fallen on the infant and drove them to St. Alexius.

A CT scan showed subdural hematomas, which one physician said resulted from a "catastrophic event" that caused "neurological devastation," Casey said. Doctors noted elevated liver enzymes that could result from oxygen deprivation, Casey said.

Hospital personnel alerted the Department of Children and Family Services, which contacted Hoffman Estates police on Sunday, Casey said.

A representative from Family Focus, a group that assists low-income families, visited the baby and her mother on Feb. 15, a day before she was injured. The baby was found to be "alert, happy and meeting all her developmental milestones," Casey said.

Bautista next appears in court on March 15.

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