Former Park City nanny extradited to Belgium
The United States recently extradited a former Park City nanny convicted on two felony counts of child abuse in Summit County to Belgium to face additional child abuse charges.
Aubrey Alta Anderson, 34, of Salt Lake, pleaded guilty two counts of child abuse, a third-degree felony, on April 15, 2013 at the Summit County Third District Court.
The charges stemmed from a 2012 incident when a Park City couple notified the Summit County Sheriff’s Office that their infant twins, a two-month old boy and girl, had suffered injuries consistent with child abuse. The boy sustained two broken ankles and several rib fractures and the girl had significant bruising. Anderson served as a night nanny for the couple and was one of two nannies working for the family, who lived in a Snyderville Basin gated community.
While in custody at the Summit County Jail, the Belgium government charged Anderson with two counts of assault and battery against minors in a case with striking similarities. Anderson is accused of injuring the infant twins she cared for as an au pair or live-in nanny in Belgium in 2011, less than a year before.
Summit County Third District Court Judge Todd M. Shaughnessy sentenced Anderson to nearly five years of probation, ordered her to wear an ankle monitor and barred her from having any contact with children younger than 14.
"The case we had in Summit County, from the perspective of the prosecution, was a very difficult case and consisted of largely circumstantial evidence," Summit County Chief Prosecutor Matt Bates said, referring to the number of caregivers who had contact with the twins. "The conviction rested largely on the evidence from Belgium. We argued if she caused the injuries in Belgium, she most likely caused the injuries here."
According to extradition documents, the Belgian couple Anderson worked for noticed the twins had several injuries, later determined by doctors to be a fracture in the upper right arm of the girl and two fractures in the left arm of the boy. Anderson claimed the injuries were accidents or self-inflicted by the twins.
When the family took the twins to the hospital on June 7, 2001, Anderson had removed her belongings from both the family homes. She took a flight back to the United States the next day. The family filed a formal complaint against Anderson that day as well.
The Belgium government formally charged and actually convicted Anderson while she was still in custody at the Summit County Jail.
In an interview with The Park Record in April, Salt Lake City defense attorney Clayton Simms, who represents Anderson, said she will have the opportunity to appeal the charges against her in Belgium.
"What’s interesting is there was a trial without her being present in Belgium," Simms said. "So she would have a fresh trial and be allowed to defend herself."
Simms adamantly opposed the charges against Anderson, saying she is "absolutely not guilty of those offenses," but added she can’t defend herself until she is extradited.
At the time, Simms said Anderson wants to stay in the United States "where she is from and is a productive member of society."
Bates said he is "absolutely satisfied" with Anderson’s extradition, which took place on July 8. He said Anderson’s sentencing was crafted with the understanding that she would eventually be appearing in Belgium to face additional charges.
"We did that knowing she was convicted in Belgium and would likely see the inside of a prison there," Bates said. "The real consequences beyond the year she served here will be met in Belgium."
The United States and Belgium have had an extradition treaty in place since 1987 and it was amended in 2004. In order for a United States citizen to be extradited, the alleged offenses have to fall under the treaty’s guidelines.
The U.S. Department of Justice reviews the extradition requests and determines whether it meets the legal criteria for extradition. Once that determination is made, the U.S. State Department takes over the case and carries out the extradition.
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