Las Vegas babysitter sentenced in death of 5-year-old boy


LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – “I know you are faking it.”

A babysitter was sentenced Wednesday to life with the possibility of parole after 20 years for the death of a 5-year-old in her care.

Lauren Courtney, 23, also faced numerous counts of child abuse which were later dropped regarding the death of Ryan James Peralta on March 11, 2021.

Court records state officers were called to the home of Ryan’s father around 1 p.m. that day on a report of a child being unresponsive with bruising to his head.

Courtney was the child’s babysitter, and had called the father to say Ryan was coughing up blood. The father returned home and watched surveillance footage from the home which showed Courtney beating Ryan.

“A horrendous account of what visually took place with Ryan on how he was severely beaten during a two-minute time frame,” is how police described the video.

The arrest report from Las Vegas police described Courtney dragging the child between rooms and repeatedly punching and kicking the child in the head and body.

Ryan was taken to University Medical Center. According to an arrest report, he suffered a brain bleed, skull fracture, fractured spleen and damage to other internal organs.

Officers interviewed Courtney at LVMPD Headquarters, according to an arrest report. Courtney said she babysits for the family three days a week and described the children as “usually good.” Courtney told police Ryan had an accident and needed to shower. While he was showering, she said she heard a “thud” and saw a bruise on his forehead when he was done.

Courtney assumed he fell during the shower and his sickness later was due to the fall, the report said. Courtney also insinuated that the father may be abusing the kids, the report said. On video, she was seen dragging the boy into the bathroom after taking off his underwear.

After Courtney left the house that day, she made a Facetime call to her boyfriend at the time before deciding to pick up McDonald’s on the way home. He told police he recalled Courtney acting normal after getting home before police arrived to arrest her.

When police confronted the babysitter about the surveillance footage, she continued to deny anything happened. Eventually, Courtney told police she may have “blacked out” from anger after the accident. Courtney said the accident by the child was “the final straw that triggered her anger.”

She blamed her blackout on having mental health issues and because Ryan would not listen to her.

“I know you are faking it,” Courtney was heard telling Ryan in the video while he was unconscious. During the interview with police, she said she knew the father owned cameras inside the home. She later stated she was sorry and “would write a letter to the boy’s parents.”


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