Two ex-journalists from Arizona who pled guilty to one count of child endangerment after cocaine was found in their infant’s system received a suspended 30-day jail sentence on Monday, according to local reports.
Somchai and Krystin Rae Lisaius were both sentenced to one-year probation and 20 and 100 hours of community service, respectively.
“I just want to apologize for putting us, for putting our family in this terrible position,” Somchai Lisaius said in court Monday, reported the Tucson News Now. “I know we made a mistake I know that we are the ones solely responsible. We learned the greatest lesson of our life, and I assure you from the bottom of my heart, this will never ever repeat.”
According to police reports, on the morning of May 15 the Lisaiuses took their 4-month-old daughter to Oro Valley Hospital after they found their baby was “lethargic and not eating normally.” Blood tests revealed that their daughter had tested positive for cocaine. Krystin admitted that she had snorted cocaine 12 hours prior to breastfeeding the baby, thinking that the 12-hour lapse in time would be sufficient to allow the cocaine to leave her system.
Investigators seized two grams of cocaine and a small black digital scale and other suspected drug paraphernalia. The couple were charged with three felony charges: possession of a dangerous drug, drug paraphernalia, and child abuse. However, those charges were dropped as part of the plea deal.
Following the positive test results, the couple lost custody of their daughter, who is now in the care of her maternal grandmother. The couple have taken positive steps to regain custody of the young girl, said their attorney Mike Piccarreta.
Piccaretta said the parents’ ordeal should serve as a reminder for lactating mothers.
“It is a lesson for all parents that if you use any substance—alcohol, prescription substances, illegal substances—that you do not breastfeed your child and do not assume that things go out of your system immediately. Even if you do not feel the effects, (the effects) linger and it could cause harm for the person you love more than anything,” Piccarreta said.
Somchai is a former crime reporter for KOLD News 13, and Krystin is a former KGUN 9 reporter.