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Astoria baby-sitter faces 25 years in jail

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Yun Zapana, who was born in Korea but lives at 21-75 19th St. in Astoria, was convicted Feb. 7 of assault and endangering the welfare of a child following a four-week jury trial, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Sentencing was set for Feb. 28 before Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter, the DA said."The defendant has been convicted of violently shaking the young toddler in her care like a rag doll," Brown said. "(She) must now live the rest of her life knowing that her actions caused her victim to suffer severe neurological devastation and robbed him of a normal life."If convicted, Zapana could face up to 25 years in prison, he said.The defendant had been hired as a baby-sitter by former Queens residents Sung Hak An and So Yung Palk, also from Korea, to watch their 8-month-old son, Rew An, a spokesman for the DA said. On the morning of March 3, 1999, An dropped his healthy son off at Zapana's house, the DA said. Several hours later, the defendant called the boy's mother and told her the child was asleep and would not wake up, Brown said.The parents rushed the child, who was convulsing, to a Queens hospital where he was then transferred to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the DA said. Medical personnel at the hospital discovered subdural and subarachnoid hematomas, bruises and bilateral retinal hemorrhages, all of which are signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome, Brown said.Zapana denied shaking the baby and told the parents that the child had gone into seizure while it was sleeping, a DA spokesman said. Dr. Gail Solomon, the child's pediatric neurologist, testified at Zapana's trial that Rew An, who is now 8 years old, does not speak, cannot track light with his eyes or respond to his own name, has no control of his extremities and cannot feed himself or be toilet trained because of severe damage to his brain, the DA said.The jury deliberated three days after the four-week trial before returning a guilty verdict, the DA said.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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