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Police: Home video showed babysitter beating 5-year-old child before his death


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    LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — A babysitter is accused of beating a 5-year-old to death after he had an accident, according to an arrest report from Las Vegas Metropolitan Police.

Lauren Jeanette Courtney faces a murder charge and multiple counts of child abuse after 5-year-old Ryan James Peralta was hospitalized and later died.

According to an arrest report, police were called to the child’s father’s home on March 11 to reports of a child unresponsive with bruising to the head. Courtney, the child’s babysitter, reportedly called the father saying the child was coughing up blood. The father came home and watched surveillance video that reportedly showed Courtney beating the child.

The arrest report said the home surveillance video showed “a horrendous account of what visually took place with Ryan on how he was severely beaten during a two-minute time frame.” The arrest report described Courtney dragging the child between rooms and repeatedly punching and kicking the child in the head and body.

Peralta was taken to University Medical Center. According to an arrest report, he suffered a brain bleed, skull fracture, fractured spleen and damage to other internal organs.

Officers interviewed the suspect at Metro Headquarters, according to an arrest report. Courtney said she babysits for the family three days a week and described the children as “usually good.” Courtney told police the 5-year-old child had an accident and needed to shower. While he was showering, she said she heard a “thud” and saw a bruise on his forehead when he was done. Courtney assumed he fell during the shower and his sickness later was due to the fall, the report said. Courtney also insinuated that the father may be abusing the kids, the report said.

When police confronted the babysitter about the surveillance footage, she continued to deny anything happened. Eventually, Courtney told police she may have “blacked out” from anger after the accident. Courtney reportedly said the accident by the child was “the final straw that triggered her anger.”

The Clark County Coroner’s Office will release Peralta’s cause and manner of death. According to court records, Courtney was granted bail on the condition she stay away from the family and stay out of trouble. Her next court date was set for May 18.

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