Two Parents Arrested After Child Found in ‘Deplorable Conditions’

The parents of two children allegedly found in ‘deplorable conditions’ were arrested in San Jacinto, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies and Child Protective Services (CPS) arrived at the 1600 block of Santa Fe Avenue after receiving a report about child abuse. The report to CPS came from an employee of the children’s school district. Authorities said they found two children “deliberately confined” to a room under “deplorable conditions” without access to a restroom or basic necessities. Deputies believe the children lived in that condition for more than one year. It was determined that this confinement occurred only during night time.

The children’s parents, Emily Tardy, 29, and Steven Crane, 38, were arrested for alleged child abuse. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office decided not to charge the couple with felony child abuse and instead charge them with misdemeanor child endangerment. Both are being held on $35,000 bail. They each pleaded not guilty to all counts and are scheduled to be back in court on Oct. 9.

California Penal Code 273(a) – Child Endangerment

California Penal Code 273(a) is the state’s child endangerment statute. In order to be convicted of child endangerment, it must be shown that you:

  • “Willfully caused or permitted” any child (a minor under the age of 18) to suffer physical pain or mental suffering; or
  • “Willfully caused or permitted” any child to be placed in a situation where s/he suffers physical pain or mental suffering.

The prosecution does not have to prove that you intended for the child to be harmed—just that you intended to place the child in a situation that can be shown to be criminally negligent.

Child endangerment is considered a domestic violence crime. However, it is a wobbler, meaning it may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. If the situation did not create a risk of great bodily injury or death for the child, it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months imprisonment, a $1,000 fine, and/or informal probation.  If the situation involved a risk of great bodily injury or death, the child endangerment is a felony punishable by two to six years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, and a minimum of four years of formal probation. Additionally, if you actually inflict great bodily injury on a child, you risk an additional three to six years imprisonment. A felony child endangerment conviction counts as one of the “three strikes” in California’s three strikes law.

San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Law Offices of David M. Boertje has handled all types of misdemeanor and felony criminal cases in San Diego County, including child endangerment, domestic violence, and sexual offenses. All states take child endangerment or abuse seriously and there are a host of potential criminal charges that apply when a child has been injured while under the care of an adult. If you or a loved one faces charges of child endangerment, do not hesitate to contact our office today.  Our consultations are free and confidential.