Franklin County nanny charged with abusing child in her care

WAYNESBORO, Franklin County — A 33-year-old Mont Alto woman employed as a nanny by a Greene Township family is accused of abusing one of the children in her care, according to State Police.

Beth Ann Mason, of S. Main Street, Mont Alto, is charged with Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault and Recklessly Endangering a Child. Police say the abuse was recorded by a camera hidden in the family’s home.

The incident Mason was charged for occurred on Nov. 21, police say.

According to police, Mason was hired by the family in August to provide housekeeping and care for the family’s three children, who ranged in age from two to three years old.

The victim’s parents told police that they noticed the victim had a scratch above her upper lip at the end of September. When they questioned Mason about it, she allegedly told the parents that the child must have fallen out of her playpen. The family told police there were no other injuries on the child consistent with such a fall.

The family soon noticed other minor injuries and changes to the victim’s behavior over the next few weeks, according to the criminal complaint. The family began suspecting that Mason was abusing the victim and her siblings, police say. The family decided to purchase a wireless indoor security camera that was disguised as an alarm clock, and placed the device in the bedroom where two of the children’s cribs were located on Nov. 16.

On Nov. 21, the victim’s parents reviewed audio and video footage captured on the device on the previous day, the criminal complaint states. When they saw what it depicted, they took the footage to police.

According to the criminal complaint, an officer reviewed the footage and heard an adult woman yelling at a crying child in another room. The woman, later identified as Mason, eventually entered the room where the camera was located, according to the criminal complaint. Police say the footage showed Mason carrying the victim into the room. She allegedly carried the child to a crib, and forcibly slammed her onto the bed.

Moments later, police say, returned to the room, went to the crib, and “began moving her right arm in a downward motion, rapidly, four times,” the criminal complaint states. “While not visible on screen, based upon…Mason’s arm movement as well as the sound that was audibly recorded, it is determined that Mason was slapping/hitting (the victim) four times in rapid succession.”

Charges against Mason were filed on Nov. 22.