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Judge denies bail appeal for nanny in death of 1-year-old girl

WOBURN — A Superior Court judge denied a bail appeal Wednesday for a nanny accused of murder in the death of a 1-year-old girl nearly two years ago, saying she would be detained by federal immigration officials if released and possibly deported to her native Ireland.

The judge set a trial date of Jan. 20 for Aisling Brady McCarthy, who Middlesex prosecutors say fatally assaulted Rehma Sabir in January 2013 while baby-sitting her in the child’s Cambridge home.

McCarthy’s lawyers said she wants to answer the allegations against her and has no desire to leave the United States. “Ms. McCarthy wants to stand trial,” said her lawyer, Melinda Thompson.


Her lawyers said she had given up her passport and could be placed under house arrest with a monitoring bracelet.

She would sign “any document” guaranteeing her return for trial, said her lawyer, David Meier. “It’s not like she’s going to disappear off the face of the earth. She’s not going anywhere.”

But Superior Court Judge Maureen Hogan said that the immigration detainer lodged against McCarthy, who has been living in the country illegally, made it impossible to guarantee her appearance.

McCarthy has pleaded not guilty to all charges. The trial is expected to last six weeks.

Authorities say Sabir was in McCarthy’s exclusive care when she sustained massive brain trauma, injuries consistent with violent shaking. The defense attorneys have noted that the child had suffered bone fractures several weeks before her death, when she was out of the country and not in McCarthy’s care.

McCarthy’s lawyers have also questioned the diagnosis that Sabir was a victim of abusive head trauma and said specialists did not fully consider other possibilities.

Investigators found blood stains on a pillow and blanket in the child’s crib, and a child abuse specialist has concluded that the child’s head injuries led directly to her death.


On Wednesday, McCarthy’s lawyers criticized prosecutors for delays in providing evidence.

“It’s taken court date after court date after court date just to get access,” Thompson said. “It’s been medical evidence; it’s been everything.”

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald denied the allegation.

“The defense has not been denied access to the evidence as they suggest,” he said. “It is their requests, I would suggest, that have contributed to the delays.”

Fitzgerald said prosecutors have not received “a shred of discovery” from the defense.

Peter Schworm can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @globepete.