Nanny and her sister charged for fatal abuse of 1-year-old child

Two sisters have been formally charged after a months-long investigation into the abuse and death of a one-year-old child placed in their care late last year.

According to the investigation, the Child Welfare League Foundation (CWLF) placed the child in the full-time foster care of a registered nanny named Liu Tsai-hsuan at her home in Wenshan District, Taipei City, in September 2023. On December 24, Liu took the child to hospital claiming that he had choked on milk. The child was declared dead later that day.

An examination of the child’s body found that he had abnormal injuries in many places on his body, suspected to be caused by long-term abuse. An investigation ensued, and Liu was arrested on January 9 this year. Liu claimed that the boy’s injuries were caused by him running into walls and falling over. However, police confiscated Liu’s phone and found ample evidence of shocking abuse, which Liu photographed and shared with her sister.

Liu’s sister, Liu Ruo-lin, was also implicated in the abuse case and arrested on February 26.

Prosecutors found evidence that the child was restrained for long periods, forced to stand by being tied to a chair, or placed in a bucket, and had been beaten, resulting in multiple traumatic injuries to the head, face, limbs and other parts of the body. The injuries had resulted in subcutaneous soft tissue bleeding, necrosis, and blood stasis. Eventually the child suffered from insufficient blood perfusion leading to respiratory arrest and death due to hypovolemic shock.

According to the prosecutor’s investigation, Liu Tsai-hsuan confessed to the crime, and Liu Ruo-lin confessed to some of the crimes. Both were charged in accordance with Article 286, Item 1 and 3 of the Criminal Code for child abuse, hindering physical and mental development leading to death.

The case raised serious questions about Taiwan’s child welfare services, the foster care system, and government supervision. On March 12, Taipei City prosecutors searched the offices of the CWLF and took a social worker in for questioning. The social worker, named Chen, was suspected of falsifying documents, and released on bail of NT$300,000.

tributes placed by members of the public for child abused to death by foster-care nanny
Tributes placed by members of the public at New Taipei City Government building in Banqiao District, March 2024.
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