A spokesperson for the Santa Rita Jail has confirmed they are detaining two sisters on $350,000 bail each. The women were taken into custody last week and are alleged to have committed numerous counts of felony child neglect and endangerment. Officers said the women, 35 year-old Nazila Sharaf and 33 year-old Lida Sharaf are accused of abusing babies at their day care center. Detectives said the women swaddled the infants so tightly they were practically unable to reathe.
The day care center has since been shut down. One sister held the business license while the other worked as the director of operations. Members of the Livermore Police Department said they were tipped off about the problem after they were contacted by a former employee. That person said they saw the abuse taking place and were disgusted at the actions of the sisters. The alleged abused children range from seven months to about one year old. Swaddling is often not recommended for children after they are more than six months old.
Livermore Police officials reportedly said they received reports that the sisters would place blankets over the faces of the babies before they put them down for naps. The sisters have continued to maintain their innocence. Child Protective Services workers say the practice is dangerous and that the sisters were endangering the lives of the children they were supposed to be looking after.
They are scheduled to be arraigned later this week. Santa Rita Jail records indicate both women remain in custody and have not been released through the help of an expert bondsman.