TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - An Oro Valley couple has been accused of child abuse after their young child tested positive for cocaine, authorities said.
The Oro Valley Police Department said Somchai P. Lisaius, a former reporter at Tucson News Now, and Krystin Rae Lisaius, a former reporter at KGUN 9, were indicted June 9.
MOBILE USERS: The KOLD News 13 mugshots of the month are available HERE.
Both appeared in court Monday, pleaded not guilty and were released on their own recognizance.
The child is in custody of the Arizona Department of Child Safety but is staying with the baby's maternal grandmother. Krystin Lisaius has been granted 24-7 contact with the child while Somchai Lisaius is allowed to see the child 12 hours per day.
The Lisaiuses are facing charges of child abuse with death or serious physical injury likely, possession of a narcotic drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. All three charges are felonies.
"It would be a gross, gross injustice (with) even the mention of prison time," said Michael Piccarreta, the couple's attorney. "I anticipate they will demonstrate that they have learned a very hard, embarrassing lesson and that this will become a footnote in their life, not a chapter."
According to a police report, the couple took the child to the Oro Valley Hospital on the morning of May 15 because the baby was lethargic and not eating normally. After refusing to allow a blood test to be run on the child, the parents brought to the baby to Banner University Medical Center.
At Banner, the Lisaiuses again refused to allow a blood test to be run but an urine analysis for the baby showed the presence of cocaine.
The police report indicated that the couple admitted to snorting cocaine at a party at their home on May 14. Krystin Lisaius admitted to breastfeeding the child 12 hours after the drug use but said she didn't think the baby would be affected.
"Hypothetically, if the child ingested cocaine through breast milk, then you gotta realize that there's different understanding as to when a recreational drug will be out of your system," Piccarreta said. "And if there's a misjudgment as to how fast it's out of your system, then it's an error that has been learned. It won't be repeated."
Authorities said they found less than 2 grams of "white powder or white residue" and other paraphernalia at the couple's home.