Crime & Courts

Ex-babysitter sentenced in duct-taping of 18-month-old

A 33-year-old former babysitter received probation Thursday in a case where a prosecutor said an 18-month-old boy had duct tape put over his mouth and around his hands so that they appeared to be in a praying position.

A picture of the taped-up boy — in which he appeared red-faced and crying — was sent by text message to his parents, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Amyx said.

Although the child didn’t appear to be injured, he had medical issues and difficulty breathing, which figured into the misdemeanor child endangerment charges against the former baby sitter and another person, Amyx said.

On Thursday, Sedgwick County District Judge Ben Burgess sentenced Amy Septer to 12 months, but granted her probation with a special condition: that she have no employment where she would have contact with children under 16.

Septer, who was convicted in April, had been a baby sitter for the boy and other children, Amyx said.

In statements Septer made to police, she said she considered the taped-up child to be humorous, Amyx said.

In court Thursday, Burgess said that putting tape over a child is “just not appropriate under any circumstances.”

In December, Septer’s co-defendant in the case, Michael R. McDonald, pleaded guilty to the same misdemeanor child endangerment charge and received a six-month sentence but was granted probation.