Kindergarten Aide Sentenced to 17 Years for Causing Baby’s Death

As part of a plea bargain, Ina Skivenko was convicted of assaulting nine other toddlers on 35 occasions

File Photo: A kindergarten classroom
ChinaFlag/Wikimedia Commons

The Central District Court sentenced a kindergarten teacher’s aide to 17 years in prison for causing the death of 14-month-old Yasmin Vinta in 2018.

As part of a plea bargain, Ina Skivenko, a 23-year-old temporary resident from Ukraine, was also convicted of assaulting nine toddlers on 35 occasions. Skivenko is also required to pay 120,000 shekels ($33,750) to the parents of the children who were hurt. Judge Ami Kobo noted that the killing of Vinta was a unique case, and for the sake of comparison he searched through court files, looking for parents convicted of killing babies. He didn’t find any.

Yasmina Vinta, a 15-month-old girl who died in a Petah Tikva preschool. An aide was charged with manslaughter in her death.
Courtesy of Israel Police

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Kobo wrote in his sentence that “the accused was trusted with the care of small babies, who are obviously helpless. She damaged their bodies and souls at an age in which they could not express what happened to them. These incidents escalated until she killed Yasmin Vinta. The damage to her was the greatest possible, and only by chance were there no other deaths. There is no similar case to this one in Israel. There are cases of abuse of babies by parents but no killings.” The plea bargain did not include the length of the prison term, and prosecutors asked for 20 years.

Surveillance cameras showed Skivenko behaving violently toward babies in her care. She was taped throwing Vinta forcefully to a mattress on the ground. She then covered her and another baby with a thick blanket, weighing it down with her body. Forensic experts say Vinta probably suffocated to death.

State prosecutors responded to the sentence, saying that it reflected the gravity of the case and the seriousness with which the courts regard such transgressions.