MANHATTAN CRIMINAL COURT — Beatriz Rios, the nanny who allegedly absconded with her 17-month-old charge last week, said in court Tuesday that she has nothing against her employers.
"They never treated me badly," Rios said in a brief interview following an appearance in a Manhattan courtroom. She was accompanied by several family members, including her husband, and smiled easily with her head high.
Rios wouldn’t comment beyond that, so it remains unclear why she went missing for nearly eight hours with the child, Annabelle Ceria. Rios has looked after the children in the Ceria family for four years.
Annabelle's parents called police after Rios, 46, of Rego Park, Queens, allegedly failed to show up with their daughter for a Nov. 30 playdate. When she and the child were found that evening, she told authorities that she'd gotten lost in Central Park after being mugged.
She said she wandered around for hours before returning to the child's East 101st Street home. But in follow-up questioning, Rios changed some aspects of her story, prosecutors said.
"I'm starting to doubt what happened. I'm confused. I'm not even sure I was there," prosecutors said she told detectives.
Rios' lawyer, Angharad Vaughan, countered that the babysitter's confusion was caused by panic.
Rios is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, unlawful imprisonment and custodial interference, all misdemeanors.
She is due back in court in February 2012.