Universal Preschool, formerly known as Sunnyside Infant and Preschool Center, in Livermore
Family members of two sisters facing child abuse charges for wrapping infants too tightly in "swaddling blankets" are both expecting infants of their own.
Nazila Sharaf, 35, and Lida Sharaf, 33, were arrested at their homes Wednesday in Dublin and Mountain House on felony child abuse charges, according to the Bay Area News Group.
They're the pair accused of wrapping infants in swaddling clothes -- a tactic used to lull newborns to sleep, the news source reported -- so tightly that the babies had "trouble breathing."
The sisters say their "swaddling methods" are sound. Doctors found no signs of injuries, but evidence enough to charge them with three counts of felony child abuse and four counts of misdemeanor child abuse and neglect exist, according to prosecutors.
At Universal Preschool LLC at 1040 Florence Road in Livermore, the sisters reportedly threw blankets over infants' faces and used "heavy-duty knots" to swaddle the infants, the news source reported. They're in jail at Santa Rita Jail on $340,000 bail.
Turns out that Lida Sharaf lost a license to operate a preschool in 2010 on a similar swaddling offense, investigators said.
The school, of which Nazila Sharaf was the owner, is now closed, following a surprise March 12 investigation that revealed improper swaddling. Parents of 19 infants spoke with police during an investigation.
Meanwhile, family members who showed up outside a courtroom Thursday said the sisters are both mothers-to-be themselves. Lida Sharaf has a 22-month old son and is due in July for a second child, while Nazila Sharaf has a nine-year old son and is 4 1/2 months pregnant.
"Both women let their thick hair fall in front of their faces to avoid being seen in court and were wearing large, red jumpsuits that concealed their pregnant bellies," the news source reported.