Maplesburg, N.C., mom who claimed nanny forced boy to eat sponge admitted lying

By Mike Dorning, Associated Press NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — A North Carolina mother has pleaded guilty to lying to police about leaving her young son unattended at home, but her story about her nanny…

Maplesburg, N.C., mom who claimed nanny forced boy to eat sponge admitted lying

By Mike Dorning, Associated Press

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — A North Carolina mother has pleaded guilty to lying to police about leaving her young son unattended at home, but her story about her nanny force-feeding the boy is not true, authorities say.

Rachel Canning’s parents weren’t home when the 12-year-old boy was found in his bed naked and sick, some bloody sponge in his mouth, a one-hour video made by his nanny in Canning’s bedroom showed, prosecutors said Monday. Canning first told police that she left her son home alone in Lincoln County, but later changed her story, saying the family had hired the nanny a few months ago to help look after the boy.

She was charged with violating her parents’ child abuse and neglect policy by leaving her son home alone, but a judge dismissed the case after Canning pleaded guilty last week to a lesser charge of simple assault. Authorities say she violated her parents’ child abuse policy by lying to police.

Canning filed for divorce last fall after the feuding family moved to South Carolina from Lincoln County, saying her parents kicked her out of the house.

Her attorney, Ira Judelson, declined comment Monday.

Canning, the daughter of a state lawmaker who has complained about the media, did not join the family at court appearances last fall. She had said that she’d had enough and didn’t want to live with her parents.

Her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, both 48, say their daughter deserted the family as she began at least three years of college. Rachel Canning started at the New England School of Professional Studies, an online academy with an out-of-state affiliation, about five months before she moved to South Carolina, according to admissions materials posted online.

Canning’s parents said she went to live with her grandparents in her father’s hometown of Jackson, N.J., last fall.

They remained in their house in Lincoln County while Rachel Canning was there until January, when they moved into a rental property, her parents said.

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