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Suspect in nanny-cam beating pleads not guilty

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A man is suspected to have broken into a suburban New Jersey home and beaten a woman for 10 minutes while her 3-year-old daughter watched. The man then is alleged to have robbed the woman’s home, taking off with her wedding rings and her purse.

And most of it, including parts where the women is punched, kicked and then thrown down the basement stairs, was caught on a hidden nanny cam, say police.

Julio Cortez / AP

Shawn Custis appears in front of Judge Peter Vazquez for his arraignment at Essex County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Shawn Custis, the 42-year-old man who allegedly beat the woman, entered a not-guilty plea Tuesday morning to an Essex County judge, according to Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Custis is facing numerous charges, including first-degree attempted murder, second-degree burglary and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, Carter said. He has a criminal record ranging back to the 1990s for burglaries. 

Custis was arrested Friday in Manhattan, where his girlfriend allegedly lives, and a judge set his bail at $750,000. The Essex County prosecutor is preparing for a grand jury trial, but the date is still unknown, Carter said. 

The woman was punched more than 16 times and the attack left her with a chipped tooth, bruises, a leg injury and a concussion. Police said she also needed some stitches near her mouth.  

She never screamed because she was trying to protect the little girl watching. Another child was also in the house at the time of the attack, hence the two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

"She stayed quiet because she didn't want to upset the 3-year-old child who was witnessing the whole crime," Millburn Police Captain Michael Palardy told NBC New York.