San Diego Daycare Worker Arrested on Child Abuse Charges

The caregiver is accused of abusing a child over the summer and another during the summer of 2016

A woman accused of physically abusing multiple kids at her in-home daycare in Linda Vista was taken into custody Monday and faces multiple felony abuse charges.

Zakia Astanzai, 35, is accused of abusing a child in her care this summer, and another child during the summer of 2016.

Unique Wilson told NBC 7 in August that she picked her 17-month-old son, Royal, up from Zakia and Benafsha Astanzai Family Child Care and found scratches and bruises all over his face.

She said when she picked up her two sons from the daycare, both of them ran to meet her. At the same time, one of the caregivers approached her and started explaining the injuries on Royal’s face.

A doctor's summary that Unique provided to NBC 7 noted the bruises are consistent with an injury such as a slap.

According to charges filed by the San Diego County District Attorney's office, on or about Aug. 15, Astanzai inflicted "cruel and inhuman" punishment upon Royal and inflicted "unjustifiable physical pain."

The San Diego Police Department investigated Unique's claims and took Astanzai into custody Monday. She was charged with felony corporal injury upon a child and felony child abuse for her alleged abuse of Royal.

Unique says her son has been more aggressive since the alleged abuse and has suffered nightmares. She said he is going to start counseling in November.

She says the charges against Astanzai give her some peace of mind, but she won't be happy until there are changes at the Department of Social Servies. She also wants to see the woman accused of abusing her child locked up for good.

A second felony corporal injury charge brought against Astanzai stems from a July 2016 claim involving a different child. A DSS investigation of the claim was inconclusive. The DA's office didn't say what led them to bring charges in that case.

The DSS also investigated a 2017 claim against caregivers at the daycare alleging they failed to properly supervise a child resulting in questionable death and found it unsubstantiated.

DSS did not respond to NBC 7's request for comment.

Astanzai is scheduled to make her first court appearance Wednesday.

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