Former Covington school employee accused of shaking baby found not guilty

Updated: Jan. 16, 2020 at 9:44 AM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A former Covington Independent Public Schools employee accused of shaking a baby was found not guilty of misdemeanor assault.

“I feel like justice was served,” Sandmann told FOX19 NOW. “My name was cleared and I knew I had done no harm."

Sheila Sandmann, 63, was accused of inappropriately grabbing and handling an eight-month-old baby at Chapman Child Development Center on Aug. 26.

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The baby was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where doctors determined the child didn’t suffer any serious internal or external injuries but did have visible swelling on her arm.

Sandmann had worked at the center for 15 years without any prior allegations against her, she says.

The August accusation came from another teacher in the school, but Sandmann says she knew “in her heart” it did not happen.

FOX19 NOW asked her directly if she physically shook or grabbed the child.

“No,” she replied.

Asked why someone would accuse her of doing so, Sandmann said, “I don’t know. I don’t know what was going through her (the other teacher’s) mind that day.”

What did happen then?

“I bounced the child,” Sandmann explained. “I had her outwardly facing. She was upset at the time, and I was trying to comfort her by bouncing her.”

As for the swelling of the child’s arm, Sandmann says that could have happened at any time and that she’s not to blame.

Now that she’s been found not guilty of the charges in her case, she explains she’s ready to move on with her life, hopefully with a new job soon.

Still, she looks back fondly on the work she’s done with the center the last 15 years.

“I have students to this day who still come up to me and thank me,” she said. “Parents who say, ‘Oh wow, look what a great job you did with my son or daughter.’ And that makes me feel good, that they gave me that.”

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