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Craigslist Babysitter Made Porn with 2-Year-Old

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He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.


The parents of a 2-year-old Minnesota girl needed a babysitter, so they put an ad on Craigslist in August 2007. When they hired Aaron Jay Lemon, 23, they had no idea he would make a child porn video with their daughter, but that's exactly what happened.

Lemon admitted Wednesday to producing the video. He also admitted to coercing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct.

This makes us never want to hire a babysitter again.

But if you do need one, how do you know you're hiring someone you can trust not to harm your child?

Most child care workers suggest hiring someone you know to watch your kids, or only using word-of-mouth recommendations. But if you can't, Lindsay Heller, Psy.D, licensed clinical psychologist, recommends the following:

1. Scrutinize resumes.
Look for breaks in employment -- and ask about them. Also, make sure the babysitter has experience caring with children the same age as your own.

2. Always call references.
"Don't just verify the babysitter worked there," Heller says. "Ask if the family would hire him again, how he handled emergencies, and how prompt he was. Then implement a trial day so you can watch him."

3. Pay for a background check.
It will cost you, but it's worth it. Also, ask the babysitter to get a driving record from the past 10 years from the DMV.

4. Go with your gut.
"The bottom line is, when trusting a stranger in your home with your children, you have to go with your gut," Heller says. "Watch how your kids respond to your babysitter. Do they fear him? Cry when you leave? You could always have a neighbor casually drop by to check up on things."

5. When in doubt, install a nanny cam.
"You should never feel guilty for using a camera in your home," Heller says. "However, you must tell your sitter up front that this will happen -- a good sitter will have no problem with this. Nanny cam laws vary from state to state so make sure you check your state's law."

"These steps may seem extreme, but they're crucial," Heller says. "It's always better to be overly cautious than sorry."

We hope Aaron Jay Lemon gets the maximum sentence for such a monstrous and disgusting act, and our heart goes out to the toddler's family in this horrific time.

Would you ever hire a babysitter from Craigslist? Comment in the momlogic community.

next: Ellen Sends Male Strippers to George Clooney
30 comments so far | Post a comment now
Melissa December 5, 2008, 2:36 PM

This is the reason I have never left my daughter with anyone who wasn’t family…and close family at that!

Mike December 5, 2008, 2:37 PM

Saw this because I follow you guys on Twitter (@mikeandthemoms). For parents out there who are concerned about sitter/caregiver safety, there services out there (like, for instance), that pre-screen providers and provide background checks. Definitely worthwhile for any parent looking to keep their kids safe.

M December 5, 2008, 2:47 PM

Why in the world would they hire a male to babysit a 2 year old girl??????

MOST sex offenders are male, so eliminating them from the babysitting candidates would help a lot, especially for young children.

Not that some men are not good with children, but young women for the most part are better at nurturing and taking care of a young child.

Why take the risk?

My child is 8 and I still have never left her alone with anyone but grandma and auntie.

momof3 December 5, 2008, 2:58 PM

Do NOT blame the parents in this instance. Aaron is the one who did the wrong thing. A parent should not be made to feel guilty for this horrible crime.

gemma December 5, 2008, 3:08 PM

this is just awful, i dont think i could ever leave our 2 year old daughter with anyone outside of family, i even get worried when she goes out for day with grandparents…

birdsfly December 5, 2008, 3:08 PM

Nothing on Earth would convince me to hire a babysitter off of Craigslist. There are reputable services you can go through. If you’re that desperate check the community board at the library for sitters or call the local PTA for suggestions, chances are someone knows a decent sitter.

Wendi December 5, 2008, 3:26 PM

Umm the parent is just the person to blame here. What is the matter with this person that they would even think that Craigslist is that place to find a sitter. I can’t even imagine that would be an option. That poor child, my hear goes out to her.

jenn December 5, 2008, 5:44 PM

I feel sad for the parents going thru this, however…graigslist is not the place to go looking for a babysitter….there are agencies and centers and people who are qualified to help. my mother told me if i ever needed someone which i am fortunate enought not to due to family, to go to a local cmmunity colage child development program and ask and interview….pooor baby….

M.L. December 5, 2008, 11:32 PM

This is exactally why no one outside of family watches my 2 childern. It is scary to think what could happen.

Anonymous December 6, 2008, 2:28 PM

i don’t understand how can you trust somebody the you don’t even know with kids

Joe Mahma December 6, 2008, 5:26 PM


Zwoman! December 6, 2008, 5:56 PM

One assault against a child and they need to be locked up forever.

Joseph Duncan who went on to kidnap Dylan and Shasta Groene and ultimately murdered Dylan after killing their mother, brother and family friend had this to say about his sex offender status:
“The truth is I am not an exception, I am the rule! Most sex offenders are just like me.”

Why give them another chance to victimize a child again? Or murder her mother for trying to protect her? We must protect our citizens.

Joyce December 7, 2008, 6:38 PM

Those of you with family nearby, please understand how fortunate you are. I live on the west coast, ALL of my family is on the East coast. The parents are naive for going to craigslist for a babysitter. Could you imagine never being able to go out ever without your child, because you don’t have family nearby? My husband and I did this for 3 years. Never getting time alone, except when the baby is sleeping. We finally found someone trustworthy.

Susanne December 9, 2008, 8:16 PM

The reason so many parents don’t feel safe leaving their kids alone with anyone but family is that child predators DON’T GET LIFE SENTENCES. If they did, we’d all have a lot less to worry about.

Anonymous December 10, 2008, 12:56 AM

Do not understand how any one would get a male sitter that you don’t know,and of all places craigslist!

sTUPID December 10, 2008, 1:00 PM

most certainly the parents are to blame. I sure in the heck would blame myself if I were that stupid to hire a man that I don’t know. Who the heck at the age of 23 especially a male can’t hold a full time job. He looks like a creep too.

911mom December 11, 2008, 1:10 AM

It was irresponsible and pretty stupid to get someone off of Craigslist — totally stupid.
I’ve had babysitters for all my kids and I do advertise in newspapers — check references, never a male (although one had a little boy with her) AND they have NEVER EVER been left alone with my kids. They lived in because of my job, BUT they lived at my aunt’s house — under her eagle eye. They would watch the sitter watch the kids.

Shelly December 24, 2008, 3:30 AM

That was a dumb thing on the parents part I have a 2 yr old daughter I would never leave her with any man alone, I wont even let my teenage son watch her. I swear some people do the stupidest things now the poor child has to suffer for another dumb parents mistake.

Oleg June 1, 2009, 5:05 AM

As a single dad to a 1 year old baby girl I will never live here with any one.. Pay for a background check or set up nanny cam. As a cop I fun there name in DMV AND LAPD computers. I have nanny cam in my baby’s rooms and the lining room. And her playroom. That’s set up to a DVR and is online so I can sign in from work to see what’s going on. I HOPE Aaron Jay Lemon does her 30 years… horrible crime… and I hate people like that

Yossi Pinkas August 22, 2010, 9:16 AM

Better screening of nannies by using personality and risk assessments, in addition to the other measures listed in the article, can help reduce the number of such cases. Such assessments should become a standard component of the screening process done by either parents or agencies.
See for additional details.

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