A 17-year-old babysitter in Florida landed herself behind bars last week after she allegedly made a video of herself placing a lit marijuana cigarette in the mouth of her friend’s 1-year-old baby and watching as the toddler inhaled.
Naledi Roberts was taken into custody on Friday and charged with one count of felony child abuse in connection with the incident, law enforcement authorities announced.
According to a press release from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, deputies on Thursday, March 23 responded to a private residence located in an unincorporated area of Largo regarding a report about a child possibly being abused. Largo is about 25 miles west of Tampa.
Upon arriving at the residence, deputies say they made contact with Roberts and the victim. Roberts confirmed that the child was left in her care by the victim’s 16-year-old mother. The mother and Roberts are friends, deputies said.
Under questioning, Roberts allegedly admitted that she had been smoking a marijuana cigarette “near the victim,” but denied ever having placed the joint in the child’s mouth.
However, authorities say they came across definitive proof that Roberts was not being honest about her time with the toddler after detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit took over the investigation into the incident.
“Through various investigative techniques, detectives were able to obtain the video, which shows Roberts placing the marijuana cigarette in the victim’s mouth. The victim then inhales while the lit marijuana cigarette is in their mouth, and the embers begin to glow brighter,” the sheriff’s office wrote in the release. “Roberts then takes the marijuana cigarette out of the mouth of the one-year-old victim and places it into her own mouth, and inhales, causing the embers to glow brighter.”
After obtaining a copy of the video, detectives on Friday, March 24 interviewed Roberts for a second time.
During the follow-up interview, deputies say that Roberts “admitted to watching the victim and placing the marijuana cigarette in the victim’s mouth.” According to detectives, Roberts refused to provide investigators with an explanation as to why she put the lit marijuana cigarette in the toddler’s mouth while the child was in her care.
She was subsequently taken into custody and transported to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center without incident.
It is unclear how detectives discovered the footage of the victim allegedly filmed by Roberts. The sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to a message from Law&Crime seeking additional details in the ongoing investigation.
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