The defense team for an Irish nanny accused of killing a baby girl in her care last year has filed a motion challenging testimony from a specialist who diagnosed 1-year-old Rehma Sabir as a victim of abusive head trauma.
In court documents filed Wednesday, Aisling Brady McCarthy’s lawyers asserted that “an avalanche of science” has raised doubts about diagnoses of shaken baby syndrome, particularly in cases where there are no outward signs of abuse.
“At best, SBS is a highly controversial, unproven hypothesis unfit to serve as the basis for a murder prosecution,” they wrote. “At worst, SBS is junk science, a tragic hoax caused by overzealousness within the child protection community.”
McCarthy’s lawyers, Melinda Thompson and David Meier, sought a hearing on the evidence “given the present debate within the relevant scientific community as to the reliability and acceptance of shaken baby syndrome or abusive head trauma in general.”
A spokeswoman for the Middlesex district attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment Thursday. The trial is scheduled to start in October.
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week