A city teacher faked a reference that landed his pal a Manhattan nanny gig – and she’s now on trial for trying to kill a tot by stuffing a wipe down his throat, sources told The Post.
Brooklyn social studies teacher John Ruby told Dr. Salomon Blutreich and Meredith Sondler-Bazar that his name was John Polakoff and that he and his wife had twin girls.
During a 45-minute chat, Ruby told the couple in 2016 that applicant Marianne Benjamin-Williams used to work for him on the Upper West Side – and did a wonderful job caring for his two daughters
He said he no longer needed her services because he got a job out of town and provided them with a written recommendation, according to Blutreich.
“Marianne possesses all qualities that make a nanny lovable & successful,” Ruby, 37, wrote in the reference.
The couple testified that they had relied on the bogus endorsement in hiring Williams to watch their young daughter. A year later they had a son, who Williams also cared for.
But in reality, Ruby actually had no children and had faked the entire tale, prosecutors said in court.
More than two years after providing the bogus reference, Williams was arrested for allegedly stuffing a baby wipe down the throat of the couple’s infant son and is currently on trial for attempted murder.
Prosecutors called Ruby to the stand Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court but he promptly pleaded the fifth and declined to answer any questions about the case.
Justice Ruth Pickholz said Ruby had no criminal exposure because lying about a nanny’s credentials didn’t become a crime until this year.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed “Lulu and Leo’s Law” in honor of two tots who were murdered by their nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, in 2012. She had also provided phony references.
Ruby’s attorney said Tuesday that his client pleaded the fifth because he didn’t want to be connected to the disturbing case.
“John is a great teacher who cares deeply about all his students and goes above and beyond for his kids,” said lawyer Vinoo Varghese. “If the defendant is guilty, she should be convicted and sent to jail. Our client, an exemplary school teacher, shouldn’t be associated with this case when the DA doesn’t need his testimony.”
Williams, 47, was watching the baby along with his 14-month-old sister May 18, 2017, when the child was rushed to Bellevue Hospital barely able to breathe.
Doctors pulled a 6 by 15 inch wipe from the child’s throat and stitched up deep cuts on his tongue, experts testified. The boy also had a broken arm.
Defense lawyer Raymond Loving has argued that the boy’s 14-month-old sister could have pushed the wipe into his mouth.
The trial continues Thursday. The Department of Education declined to comment.
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