Babysitter sentenced for 2017 child abuse case

Local News

(Image: Courtesy MGN)

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — A woman was sentenced Tuesday at Roanoke City Circuit Court for child abuse and neglect after injuries were found on an infant she was babysitting in 2017.

Leanna Flora Pagans, also known as Leanna Hagwood was sentenced for the class four felony to a five-year term, which would be suspended after a year and six months and follow three years of supervised probation, said the Roanoke Assistant Commonwealth Attorney David Billingsley.

Pagans is not to have contact with the family again, the attorney added.

In September 2017, the four-month-old infant that Pagans was watching over was taken to the hospital with subdural and retinal hemorrhaging, Billingsley said.

She spent several days in the hospital with the non-life threatening injuries and had a full recovery, he said.

During the infant’s evaluation, doctors found healing injuries to her clavicle and femur, which are common in baby shaking cases, the attorney said.

WFXR asked how long Pagans was a babysitter for the family, but the information was not available. The attorney said she attended to the infant Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

The defendant pleaded no contest in Oct. 29, 2019, to one count of child abuse. The former babysitter claims that she did not hurt the infant.

Originally there was an additional felony charge of child cruelty but that was dropped in exchange for the sentence agreed upon.

As part of the sentencing, Pagans may participate in substance abuse counseling during her supervised probation.

The defendant’s attorney said opioid abuse may have impacted Pagan’s care of the infant.

Billingsley said, while there is evidence that Pagans is addicted to opioids currently, her statements made at the beginning of her case do not indicate that she was abusing drugs at the time of the incident.

He said there are drug treatment programs where she will be serving that she can choose to enter.

Pagans has been held since July for failing to appear in court and will receive credit for time served on her sentencing.

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