Babysitter caught abusing baby learns punishment - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Babysitter caught abusing baby learns punishment

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) - MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -- A 20-year-old Rothschild woman has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for two counts of felony child abuse, a judge ordered in Marathon County Court Friday.

Jennifer Cronin was charged last year, after prosecutors say a hidden camera captured her hitting a four-month old baby. The video of the incident has not been made public.

In court Friday, the judge said he watched the video and was shocked at the tremendous acts of violence. Cronin also spoke in court, telling the judge, “I am willing to admit I made a huge mistake.”

Cronin has been out of jail on bond since June 2013.

The children's father and grandparents made statements in court. They said they never imagined something like this would happen to their family.

Cronin also spoke, saying emotional stress led her to do what she did. She apologized to the family, saying she made a mistake and that she takes responsibility.

"I am willing to accept my consequences and take responsibility for my actions,” said Cronin. “I have hurt the most vulnerable people that there are laws to protect and everyone makes mistakes, and I am ashamed to admit that i have made a huge mistake. I know life is precious and that life of a child is extremely special. I know my actions can never be reversed and they will last a lifetime. I will forever hold this pain in my heart and I'm sure you will too."

The judge also ordered Cronin to time on probation once she gets out of prison.

“This is a parent's worst nightmare,” the judge said in court. "I have expectations that you will use this time to better yourself and once this sentence is completed, that you will do things in your life that show that you have the ability to do great things."

The assistant district attorney after court said the video helped the judge reach his final decision. Cronin's defense attorney did not want to comment in court Friday.

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