Chronology of the Aisling Brady McCarthy case

Jan. 14, 2013, about 5 p.m.: Rehma Sabir, age 1, is taken to Boston Children’s Hospital after becoming unconscious at a home near Harvard Square. Initially, doctors tell the baby’s parents, Sameer Sabir and Nada Siddiqui, and Aisling Brady McCarthy, the child’s nanny from Ireland, that the baby had suffered a series of strokes.

Jan. 14, 2013, about 10:50 p.m.: A social worker from the Boston Children’s Hospital child protection team, which was led by Dr. Alice Newton, initiates an emergency response and alleges that the baby girl might be a victim of abuse.

Jan. 14, 2013, about 11:30 p.m.: Boston Children’s Hospital files a child abuse report with the state’s child protection agency, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, and a social worker interviews the baby’s parents.


Jan. 15, 2013, about 12:30 a.m.: A DCF staffer calls the Middlesex district attorney’s office, and makes a referral for a physical abuse investigation.

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Jan. 15, 2013: Dr. Newton diagnoses the baby as a victim of violent head trauma, and the nanny, McCarthy, is questioned. McCarthy denies playing any role in the girl’s death.

Jan. 16, 2013: The baby is declared brain dead.

Jan. 18, 2013: The baby is removed from life support. When she dies, she has no bruises, grip marks, crush injuries, or acute broken bones, according to the McCarthy’s defense team.

Jan. 19, 2013: The medical examiner’s office conducts an autopsy and ultimately rules the death to be a homicide by blunt force trauma.


Jan. 21, 2013: Then-Middlesex district attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. announces the arrest of McCarthy. McCarthy, who had been living in Quincy, is arrested and held on $500,000 bail. She is assigned to the women’s state prison in Framingham.

Throughout 2013 and 2014: Both sides begin assembling their cases. Prosecutors tell the judge about blood stains on a pillow in the baby’s crib and old bone fractures. The defense accuses the government of a rush to judgment, and ignoring alternative reasons why the child’s brain bled.

September 2014: In a case closely watched by the nanny’s defense team, prosecutors drop charges against 36-year-old Geoffrey Wilson of Malden, an MIT graduate who was accused of shaking his 6-month-old son to death. Wilson’s defense lawyers raised the possibility that the baby’s death was caused by a genetic disorder, and the medical examiner, in a revision, cited natural causes in the boy’s death.

October 2014: Defense lawyers for McCarthy lose their bid to have her bail lowered. Prosecutors argue that the nanny, who is in the country illegally from Ireland, is a flight risk.

April 2015: The state medical examiner’s office launches a new comprehensive review of Rehma’s death with new medical experts.


May 2015: The nanny’s defense lawyers succeed in getting her bail reduced to $15,000 and she is released to live in her home, though she must wear a GPS monitor.

Aug. 31, 2015: After deeper examination, the medical examiner determines Rehma’s death was “undetermined.” The office found she died of “subdural hemorrhage with an unknown etiology.” Later the same day, Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan drops charges against the nanny, saying her office can no longer meet its burden of proof.

Source: Court and law enforcement records and the Boston Globe archives. Patricia Wen can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @GlobePatty.