Crime

Mother Of Eight Charged With Child Endangerment (Photo)

| by Michael Doherty
A childA child

An Ohio mother has been arrested after police discovered eight children in "disgusting" conditions, including at least one child covered in feces.

Police charged 33-year-old Quinn Washington of Lorain, Ohio, with endangering children after police found the kids, aged 1 through 13, left alone at the home, which had bugs and food all over, according to KNXV.

Police were notified about conditions at the house by a neighbor who spoke to a maintenance worker, who said the kids were urinating and defecating on the floor and were covered in cereal.

An officer who investigated the home was greeted by a 13-year-old girl who said that she was watching the other seven children while their mother was working. The officer reported "an awful stench of what smelled like rotten milk."

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The girl said that her 10-year-old sister was upstairs trying to "put the babies to bed," reports The Chronicle-Telegram.

There were reportedly trash bags and clothes scattered around the kitchen and living room of the house, as well.

Upstairs, the officer found a bedroom with a mattress that had no sheets or blankets. One child was wearing only a diaper filled with feces, and was reported to also have feces on his feet and legs.

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Another child had dirt on her face and cereal stuck in her hair, according to the police report.

The sink was reported to be filled with moldy dishes, and mold also covered food in the fridge. Bugs were seen crawling around in one of the beds.

The 13-year-old girl called her mother. When Washington arrived at the house, she did not go inside to check on her children or change her child's dirty diaper, but argued with officers outside the home, blaming the 13-year-old for the police's arrival.

Officers took Washington into the back of a police vehicle because she continued to yell at them, and she was taken to the Lorain County Jail. Lorain County Children's Services took custody of the eight children.

Washington later argued that she was only arrested because she questioned police authority.

Washington said that the incident had been blown out of proportion. She said that as a single mom with eight children, she had no choice but to have her oldest daughter watch the other children while she was away at work.

Washington said that she had been diagnosed with postpartum depression, and because she hadn't told the Department of Job and Family Services that she had left her job, her babysitter continued to charge her for days that she wasn't working, leaving Washington with a $6,300 bill.

"I have to either pay the balance in full or pay 5 percent of my monthly income," said the mom. "That's why it's been hard to get caught up."

Washington, who said her children are now in her mother's custody, vowed to plead not guilty and fight her child endangerment charges.

"I don't drink, don't smoke, don't do drugs, and don't hang out on 28th Street," said the mother. "I'm lost without my kids. They are everything to me."

"It wasn't the best decision to leave them here, but it wasn't one that endangered their lives," she added.

Sources: KNXV, The Chronicle-Telegram (2) / Photo credit: andresmbernal/Flickr, KNXV, Annie/Flickr

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