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Tucson TV Personalities Charged with Child Abuse

By: Woodnick Law, PLLC

Generally, a baby tests positive for illegal drugs immediately after birth.  That is to say, the drug for which the baby is positive is passed through the mother in utero.  The story below shows there are exceptions to every rule.  And you better believe the Department of Child Safety will be knocking on (or down) your door if your four-month-old tests positive for cocaine.

An Oro Valley couple known best as Tucson TV reporters are facing drug charges after tests revealed cocaine in their baby’s system.

According to Oro Valley police, Krystin Lisaius, 26, and husband Somchai Lisaius, 42, were indicted on charges of possession of a dangerous drug, drug paraphernalia, and child abuse on June 9.

They made their first appearance in court on Monday.

Riley said the baby was taken to the hospital on May 15 after being breast-fed and appearing to be in distress. Tests revealed cocaine in the four-month-old’s bloodstream.

The baby is living with a relative. According to the AP, they could not locate an attorney for the couple.

Our firm has helped Mothers who are using Methadone during pregnancy keep physical custody of their children after birth.  However, in such cases, DCS would want to see a decrease in Methadone usage and certainly require abstinence from other drugs.  Drug use, per se, does not preclude parenting as long as the parent demonstrates genuine commitment to getting clean and a safety plan can protect the child from potential harm.

In fact, we have litigated many cases in which the parent tested positive for drugs and DCS has taken legal custody of their child.  So long as the parent follows protocols and shows sobriety, regaining legal custody of their children is possible.

In the case at hand, however, even if Ms. Lisaius was unaware that cocaine would pass to her child via breastfeeding, she will have a long road of services and compliance ahead.  Convincing DCS and the Pima County Juvenile Court that the carelessness she displayed in this instance will never be repeated will not be a simple task.



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