Wausau baby sitter charged with additional count of child abuse

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- The 28-year-old baby sitter already accused of injuring two children was charged Thursday with an additional count of child abuse.

Merisa Sell who operated Merisa's Stepping Stones, an unlicensed daycare, pleaded not guilty in November to two counts of child abuse.

Last month prosecutors filed another count of child abuse with a sexual assault modifier after a child had an injury showing finger prints near their groin. According to court documents, the alleged incident happened and was reported by the child’s mother in October 2017.

Sell appeared in court on the newest charged Thursday. At the hearing, the judge ordered her to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18 unless supervised by a non-family member older than 25. The contact would also need to occur in a public setting.

A signature bond was set at $100,000 in her first criminal case. She was released from jail after posting the first $10,000 in cash.

In that case, a 4-month-old child was taken to a Marshfield hospital for a brain bleed. Court documents show Sell said the cause of the baby's injury may have happened when an older child shook the Jumperoo the baby had been in.

Sell said she texted the baby's mother that the child had a seizure while in her care. The mother told investigators the baby was 'out cold' and never woke when Sell hand him to her. A doctor cited in the criminal complaint stated the child's injury is consistent with shaking.

In August 2018, prosecutors stated a second child suffered an injury in Sell's care. Sell called 911 to report the child fell out of a high chair and might have choked on food. The 16-month-old child was transported to the hospital. According to the criminal complaint, the child has brain bleed and facial injuries. The doctor said the injuries would have not happened after a short fall.