Sarah Kuiper-Boles, a 29-year-old woman in Wilder, Idaho, found out on Wednesday that she will spend at least the next four years of her life, and possibly as many as 10, behind bars for what she confessed to doing to a 6-month-old boy she was allowed to babysit after striking up a friendship with the baby’s mom on Facebook.
Now mom Simona Contreras wants her frightening story to go public in hopes that other mothers won’t make the same mistake she made — and perform thorough background checks on prospective babysitters.
“The way she expressed herself and the way she told me about herself, I felt comfortable with her watching my kids,” Contreras told KTVB-TV after the sentencing of her former babysitter. “It’s hard. I mean, there’s days that I look at him and I cry because I could have lost him.”
In what one detective who investigated the case called “a really horrific crime,” Kuiper-Boles (above left) confessed to becoming frustrated with Baby Julian’s crying when she babysat the little boy between November and January. To quiet the baby, she shook him violently on several different occasions.
In fact, she shook the baby with such force that at one point, according to her confession, little Julian’s eyes rolled back in his head. Then the baby vomited and went limp.
Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor described Julian’s injuries as some of the most disturbing he had ever seen on a small child.
“When detectives asked Kuiper-Boles to reenact what she did on a baby doll, she admitted she was scared to show how hard she really shook the baby because she was afraid the doll’s head would come off,” prosecutors told the court.
Contreras (above right, with Julian) first noticed that her baby was acting in an unusual fashion in January.
“He did not want me to hold him. He looked really uncomfortable,” said Contreras. “He looked like he’d been screaming and crying.”
Kuiper-Boles told the baby’s mom that the little boy had accidentally rolled off the couch. But when the baby began vomiting again, she took him to doctors who diagnosed Julian with a virus.
But it wasn’t a virus. When the mom took her baby back in for a CAT scan a week later, the examination revealed the true and shocking extent of the baby’s injuries.
“There was blood and inflammation in his head and fluid flowing around his brain,” she recalled.
The baby’s brain showed signs of being deprived of oxygen, as well, doctors said.
Julian has since required five surgeries, with more, sadly, likely in his future. The now-11-month-old boy has crossed eyes as a result of the abuse and is displaying several developmental disabilities, Contreras said.
The sentencing came the same week a mom in Arizona was arrested after admitting she struck her 9-year-old son, who has Down syndrome, in the head with a baseball bat.
In addition to her prison term of four to 10 years, Sarah Kuiper-Boles was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and may not have any contact with children for 10 years, even if she is released on parole.
[Images: Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, Simona Contreras]