A California nanny has been charged with molesting a baby girl she was hired to care for, weeks after facing charges of producing and sending pornographic images of the infant.
Michelle Nicole Hidalgo, 28, was charged with three further offenses after prosecutors said they found more disturbing evidence.
She was initially arrested last month after cops in Contra Costa County received a tip from an unnamed social media platform about child abuse images allegedly shared by Hidalgo on their platform.
When they probed her online activity, police allegedly found conversations between her and a man requesting ‘worse and worse’ images of the girl.
The nanny was still employed by the victim’s family at the time of her arrest. She is currently being held on a $2.7 million bond, and faces up to 60 years to life in prison if found guilty.
On top of the four felony counts of child pornography she previously faced, Hidalgo has now been charged with a further three counts of child molestation of a victim under 10, and of using a minor for sex acts.
Michelle Nicole Hidalgo, 28, allegedly molested a young girl who was in her care at the instruction of a man she met online
The nanny was previously charged with child pornography offenses, before additional evidence of further crimes was allegedly found
When Hidalgo was confronted about the images by a District Attorney senior inspector, she allegedly admitted to sharing the images, calling them a ‘stupid’ one-time mistake.
But cops suspect that she had also molested the infant at the direction of the man she sent the images to.
According to court records, the sickening directions saw the man ask Hidalgo to do ‘worse and worse’ things to the girl while documenting it.
After receiving the initial tip, a search warrant was carried out on her home by the Contra Costa County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, where they seized ‘equipment used in the production and distribution’ of the child abuse footage.
District Attorney Diana Becton previously said authorities have not ruled out the possibility that there are other victims.
Although she allegedly admitted to the images, Hidalgo pleaded not guilty to charges in her first court appearance last month.
Her bail originally stood at $700,000, and before it was raised to $2.7 million on Friday the District Attorney’s office said at her first hearing that it would argue to keep her behind bars should her defense ask for the bail to be lowered.
‘Why? Because she is a danger,’ Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves said at the time.
According to Hidalgo’s Facebook profile, she is originally from Pacifica, California, and graduated from at Terra Nova High School.
Authorities have not ruled out the possibility there are other victims in the case
Hidalgo’s arrest is the latest in a string of recent instances of daycare workers and nannies being charged with similarly disturbing offenses.
Last month, a Bay Area daycare worker was sentenced to 25 years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography.
Jace Wong, 26, was arrested in San Francisco in 2021 after an undercover officer linked him to a pornographic video of a girl between four and six years old.
Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, a daycare worker has been accused of sending photos of naked children to a trans former politician.
Lindsay Groves, 38, faces accusations that she took nude images of children aged three to five at the Creative Minds Early Learning Center in Tyngsboro, about 35 miles northwest of Boston.
Prosecutors say the New Hampshire resident took the photos in a private bathroom during breaks before nap time and texted them to someone ‘with whom she was previously in an intimate relationship’ and shared 2,500 texts with.
The investigation into Groves also led to the arrest of Stacie Laughton, 39, who is believed to be the first transgender person elected to a state Legislature in the nation. She is charged with distributing child pornography.