TORRANCE, CA — It’s been two months since the video of nurse Thelma Manalastas allegedly abusing her 2-year-old patient was released.
She appeared in court on Monday morning for her arraignment.
Manalastas pled not guilty to a pair of misdemeanor child abuse counts.
Last June, while Dyana and Chris Ko were at their elder son’s basketball game, they saw a video of the LVN appearing to handle the child roughly thru a nanny cam smartphone app.
They immediately called the police, and Manalastas was arrested, freed on bond, and quickly fired by Maxim Agency after the agency conducted its own investigation.
As prosecutors asked for the judge to restrict her from being left unsupervised with children under ten years old, they enumerated the incidents caught on tape.
“The child in this case is 2 years old, has some severe health issues that requires 24-7 care there’s a 54 minute video in which the defendant is observed hitting and slapping the child 22 times — she’s observed pinching the child 16 times, she’s observed kicking the child one time, she’s observed hitting the victim with a rolled up magazine 2 times and forcibly dropping the child into its bouncy seat three times.”
Her attorney rebutted, saying she does not pose a threat to children and briefly describing her career as a nurse.
“She was a nurse for over 30 years at Torrance Memorial; never had an issue. Never been disciplined — this is the first time she’s ever been involved in anything like this. The reason we’re objected to this request is because she has grandchildren.”
After prosecutors admitted that there is no other reason to believe Manalastas has been involved in other child abuse cases, the judge ordered that Manalastas be kept away from children under five years old.
Both Manalastas and the Ko family declined to comment on this morning’s hearing.
Manalastas, who has been out on bond, is scheduled to return to court on the 28th.
In the meantime, the Ko family has also filed a civil lawsuit against Manalastas and Maxim Agency.