Adults entrusted with the care of a minor have a responsibility in making sure the child is safe while under their watch -- especially when the adult in question has a notable position of authority in the community. When the adult isn't the parent and knowingly places that child at risk of injury, serious legal consequences can result.
When an off-duty Caroline County sheriff's deputy drove a teenage girl to a party, he didn't inform her parents that he knew she planned to drink alcohol that night. He continued to stay in touch with her via text messaging as she drank through the night until another party attendee texted to inform him that she was unconscious and not responding. After he returned to the home and failed to revive her, the deputy left without notifying the adults in the house, her parents, or law enforcement of what had happened.
The following morning, another person in the home called the deputy while he was on duty and told him the girl was still unconscious. He instructed the caller to call 911 but didn't respond to the emergency call himself. After hospitalization, the girl was found to have a blood alcohol content 6.5 times higher than the legal limit of an adult of drinking age.
The deputy now faces charges as a result of his negligence and irresponsible behavior. Facilitating the endangerment of a minor, failing to provide first responder medical assistance, concealing his involvement and the violation of the law as a sworn law enforcement officer, and putting the girl at risk of permanent injury are some of the many charges he is faced with.
The girl's parents may also wish to pursue legal action for compensation of their medical bills, and to ensure the officer is held accountable for his actions.
Source: MyEasternShoreMD.com, "Deputy faces endangerment allegation," Abby Andrews, Jan. 25, 2013