Prison Time For Father Who Got 13-Year-Old Drunk

A Pennsylvania father was sentenced to prison for giving his daughter 17 vodkas on her 13th birthday, causing her to lose consciousness.

Charles Younger, 38, was sentenced on June 13 to two to four years in prison, reports The Morning Call.

Younger had run from the house in Allentown after a friend called for an ambulance for the young girl.

"I did run, but I came back," he told the judge, having pleaded guilty. "My kids mean everything to me."

He pleaded guilty to child endangerment and corrupting the morals of a minor.

The child's mother, 32-year-old Michelle Edwards, was also sentenced to prison. She will spend between six weeks and 23 months in county jail.

"My stupidity caused my kids to lose both their parents," said the father, who has previously been convicted of armed robbery and aggravated assault.

He said he sent Michelle and his daughter to a liquor store and gave them money so they could buy vodka. Younger also gave the drink to another minor, a 15-year-old girl.

When police arrived, they found the 13-year-old vomiting and unconscious.

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center doctors later revealed her blood alcohol level was more than four times the limit to drive in the state.

Social media users were quick to comment on the incident.

"A lousy parent and a coward," wrote one person on Lehigh Valley Live's website.

"Dad comments that his kids mean everything to him," commented one person on WTAE's Facebook post about the incident. "Then WHY did you and your wife make that decision? I have told my daughter since she was little don't ever ask me until you are of legal age. Now almost 20 yrs old she has no desire."

While many in the U.S. were angry with the father, in the U.K., some might not view his crime in the same light.

According to a survey conducted by Churchill Home Insurance, one-half of the 1,000 British parents polled allowed their children under the age of 14 to drink alcohol at home. In the U.K., the legal age to buy alcohol is 18, rather than 21, as it is in the U.S.

"My family is Irish so there's a big drinking culture," said social worker Heather Witherington, who was given her first drink at age 10.

"To some it might seem that I was encouraged to drink as a child, but in our eyes it was all about managing risks," she said, adding her parents also emphasized the importance of drinking responsibly.

As a result, she says, she allowed her 15-year-old son to drink early.

"He's now more mature about alcohol than some of his mates," she said. "He sees it all as the same, whereas ones who didn't drink when they were younger are looking to try new drinks and get hammered. He has still had some normal experimentation with alcohol, as many teenagers do, but he's much more aware of alcohol because he was introduced to it early."

Sources: The Morning Call, Lehigh Valley Live, WTAE, BBC News / Photo credit: Imogene Huxham/Flickr

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