Phoenix baby sitter accused of child abuse

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Shan Marie McDonald By Jennifer Thomas Shan Marie McDonald By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX – A Phoenix baby sitter is accused of abusing two children in her care.

Shan Marie McDonald, 36, was arrested Wednesday morning. She faces two felony counts of child abuse and one felony count of aggravated assault.

According to court documents, a 1-year-old girl and her 5-year-old sister were dropped off at McDonald's home near Bell Road and 44th Street on Aug. 2. When the mother returned to pick up her children, she found the toddler lying on the couch by herself unable to open her eyes.

The toddler reportedly had bruises on her neck, shoulders, face and thighs, as well as a cut and swollen lip. The mother took the girl to a hospital.

The 5-year-old was interviewed and said that she did not know what had happened to her sister, but told police that she saw McDonald choke a 6-year-old girl because she could not find her shoes, according to the court papers.

McDonald told police that she has never struck a child in her care and did not how the 1-year-old girl was injured. McDonald said that she was at a doctor's appointment when the toddler's mother returned to pick up her children.

McDonald's 17-year-old assistant baby sitter told police that McDonald was in her bedroom lying down when the mother returned and that McDonald had gone to the doctor's appointment in the morning.

Police contacted the family of the girl who allegedly was choked. The child's mother had taken pictures of her daughter's injuries. According to the court documents, she had marks/abrasions on her throat and two scratches to her forehead. The parents did not go to the police at the time.

During a forensic interview, the 6-year-old told authorities that McDonald beat her and squeezed her neck with her long fingernails. The girl said that she pretended to be asleep when she heard pillows slamming on the top of the 1-year-old's head. She said the child was crying.

During a second interview with police, McDonald reportedly admitted to causing the marks on the child's throat because she was angry.

McDonald maintained that she didn't know what caused the younger girl's injuries.