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Nanny charged after death of infant in Cambridge

A nanny who lives in Quincy was arrested Monday on a charge of assaulting a 1-year-old girl in her care in Cambridge who later died, and more charges are expected, the Middlesex district attorney’s office said.

Aisling McCarthy Brady, 34, is accused of assaulting the child on Jan. 14 and inflicting severe head injuries, District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.’s office said in a statement. The child, whom authorities did not identify, died at Boston Children’s Hospital two days after the alleged assault.

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“This is an extremely troubling case, where we allege the defendant violently assaulted a one-year-old child, causing a devastating head injury and broken bones,” Leone said in the statement. “Children are our most vulnerable victims and where, as here, the offender has been entrusted with the care of a child who depends on them, the allegations are all the more egregious.”

The few details of the case released on Monday had echoes of a high-profile trial in Middlesex County of another nanny, Louise Woodward, in 1997.

Woodward, a British national, was convicted of second-degree murder in the shaking death of an 8-month-old boy in her care, though a judge later reduced the conviction to involuntary manslaughter.

Leone and Attorney General Martha Coakley tried the Woodward case as assistant district attorneys.

According to prosecutors in the current case, Cambridge police responded at about 4:45 p.m. last Monday to a home on Ash Street, where the infant was breathing but unconscious.

She was taken to the hospital and “found to be suffering from subdural and retinal hemorrhaging, and cerebral swelling.

She was also observed to have multiple healing bone fractures,” the statement said.

Authorities determined that Brady had sole custody of the girl that afternoon and that her injuries were consistent with abusive head trauma, according to Leone’s office.

Brady is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Cambridge District Court on a charge of assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury, the statement said.

Prosecutors said that Brady will probably face more charges when the final report by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is concluded.

A spokeswoman for Leone did not immediately return messages seeking comment Monday night.

Ash Street is a one-way street near Harvard Square that is lined with large houses and a Radcliffe College building, as well as brick high-rise apartments that overlook the Charles River.

Working telephone numbers for Brady’s relatives could not be located, and it was not immediately clear if she had hired a lawyer.

A Cambridge Police spokesman could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Families had no information late Monday night on whether any prior complaints had been made against Brady.

Globe correspondents Haven Orecchio-Egresitz and Chris Struck-Girard contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe

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