SALT LAKE CITY — Aubrey Anderson, who was sentenced to five years probation for child abuse in Utah, has been sentenced for another four years for a similar crime in Belgium.
The U.S. has an extradition treaty with Belgium, permitting an American to be sent there if convicted of a prison sentence of one year or more, but the next move remains in the hands of Belgian authorities.
Tuesday, a judge in the criminal court in Bruges, Belgium, handed down a conviction in absentia to Anderson for assault of twin infants, who were 16 days old at the time. She fled Belgium while the parents of the twins were at the hospital, where they discovered multiple fractures on their arms and legs, according to court documents.
Anderson was then hired by a Park City family in early 2012 as a nighttime nanny to care for another set of twins. The daytime nanny noticed swelling and bruising on one of the 1-month-old infants, at which point doctors found fractures and broken bones.
On June 4 Anderson was convicted of child abuse of the Park City twins.
Greg Skordas, a Salt Lake City attorney, has worked in the district attorney's office with extradition cases and explained the process.
"They will send a request to our country, saying, 'We request that you detain this person,' " Skordas said. "You put her in custody and you start the extradition process, and then the United States authorities will have to decide if this is really the kind of case they want to cooperate with."
If Belgium decides to extradite, a prosecutor will go through diplomatic channels to the U.S. State Department. Then if the State Department agrees, another request will go to the Federal Courthouse in Salt Lake City where a judge will ask U.S. Marshals to take Anderson into custody.
The State Department has not announced if it will work with Belgian authorities.
Anderson's attorney, Clayton Simms, said even then there will be a new trial.
"If she did return to Belgium, she would have a completely fresh trial," Simms said. "So this conviction would be overturned immediately, and it's actually a condition upon the United States sending her to Belgium."
Simms said Anderson believes she will be cleared of charges there.
"She may choose to waive extradition and go there and face the court," Simms said, adding that Anderson maintains her innocence in what happened in Belgium.
"She looks forward, actually, to clearing her name and telling her story about what really happened," he said.
The Summit County Attorney's Office released a statement Tuesday regarding the Utah case. David Brickey, who tried the Utah case, said the office is committed to seeing Anderson sentenced in both Utah and Belgium.
"Our office has always believed that Belgium had a strong case against her and that she would face justice in that country. We and the Summit County Sheriff will devote any resources that are necessary for her extradition."