Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the trial conviction of MARIANNE BENJAMIN-WILLIAMS, 47, a former babysitter, for attempting to murder her employers’ two-month-old child by shoving a baby wipe down the child’s throat. A New York State Supreme Court jury found the defendant guilty on all charges, including Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Assault in the First and Second Degrees, and Strangulation in the First Degree. BENJAMIN-WILLIAMS is expected to be sentenced on January 7, 2019.
“Our justice system exists to protect the most vulnerable among us – to speak for them when they cannot, and to fight for them when they have been victimized in unconscionable ways,” said District Attorney Vance. “When this family left their two-month-old son with Marianne Benjamin-Williams, they placed an enormous amount of trust in her ability to protect and care for their child. But the defendant proved herself to be completely undeserving of their trust – first, by lying about nearly every detail of her employment history, and then by forcing a baby wipe down their infant son’s throat in a case that amounts to every parent’s worst nightmare. Now, a jury has found the defendant guilty of attempted murder and other crimes and, thanks to the dedicated prosecutors in my office’s Child Abuse Unit, she will face significant jail time for this unspeakable conduct.”
As proven at trial, BENJAMIN-WILLIAMS provided false information about her employment history – including her educational background, prior work experience, and professional references – and used altered copies of her driver’s license and passport to obtain employment as a babysitter. On May 18, 2017, between 10:00 a.m. and 3:45 p.m., the defendant was alone with the two-month-old victim and his 14-month-old sister at her employer’s Waterside Plaza apartment when she forced a folded baby wipe down the two-month-old’s throat. WILLIAMS then asked her employer – the children’s mother – to call 911, and the victim was rushed to Bellevue Hospital. There, doctors surgically removed an 8-inch by 6-inch baby wipe from his throat and treated him for deep cuts to his mouth and tongue, and a fracture in his left arm.
Assistant D.A.s Nicole Blumberg, Chief of the Child Abuse Unit, and Kristen Caruso, also of the Child Abuse Unit, handled the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Executive Assistant D.A.s Audrey Moore, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau, and John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Senior Trial Counsel Joel Seidemann, Assistant D.A. James Zaleta, Senior Rackets Investigator Miguel Cruz, Investigative Analyst Hannah Carlson, and Trial Preparation Assistant Lucretia Bunzel also provided valuable assistance with the case.
District Attorney Vance thanked the following individuals for their assistance with the case: NYPD Detective Christopher Shaw of the Special Victims Division; NYPD Officer Matthew McGrath of the 13th Precinct; FDNY Firefighter John Loupfan; FDNY Paramedic Timothy Anson; and the entire medical staff at Bellevue Hospital and NYU Langone Medical Center.
MARIANNE BENJAMIN-WILLIAMS, D.O.B. 7/21/1971
New York, NY
- Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, a class B felony, one count
- Assault in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
- Strangulation in the First Degree, a class C felony one count
- Assault in the Second Degree, a class D felony, one count
- Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, two counts
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a class A misdemeanor, one count