Mom sentenced to probation for exposing baby to meth
Published 4:32 am Saturday, October 16, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
CASSOPOLIS — For Stephanie Consiglio, the 18-month probation sentence she received at Cass County Circuit Court Friday was far less punishment than the guilt hanging over her.
The Goshen, Ind. resident, who pleaded to third-degree child abuse in September, was repentant in her statement to the court.
“With all due respect, your honor, nothing that you could do could make me feel any worse,” she said.
According to Judge Michael Dodge, in March, Consiglio took her 10-month-old daughter to her boyfriend’s house in Calvin Township, which also served as his methamphetamine lab.
Consiglio’s boyfriend, Travis Maxwell, was sentenced to 40 months to 20 years in prison in July.
“You knew he was a methamphetamine user,” Dodge told Consiglio, “and were exposing her to a toxic environment.”
Soon after, Consiglio noticed her baby acting in “a hyperactive manner,” according to Dodge. She then took her to Elkhart General Hospital, where the baby tested positive for methamphetamine.
“It was likely she put something in her mouth with residue on it,” Dodge said.
Prosecutor Victor Fitz called for a jail sentence and said Consiglio, 33, needs to “change her lifestyle.”
“This case represents a tragic situation,” he said. “She knew she was exposing her child to a dangerous drug, basically a meth den. This was the last place in the world that child should be.”
Consiglio, who is undergoing counseling and lost custody of her children, said she wants to turn her life around.
“By living a self-seeking, pleasure-seeking lifestyle, I could have killed my beautiful baby,” she said.
If she does not comply with the terms of her probation, Consiglio will serve a 90-day jail sentence.
Also on Friday, a Cassopolis man, who had pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and delivery of meth charges, was sentenced to a year in jail.
DeWayne Honey, 47, had been manufacturing meth and growing marijuana at his residence.