Pennsylvania father Tuan Huynh, 47, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child under 18 stemming from his arrest for abandoning his 16 year-old daughter near the Cheltenham Mall for receiving a low grade in calculus.
"She was devastated. She wandered quite a ways looking for help," Assistant District Attorney Cara McMenamin, who prosecuted Huynh told The Mecury. "Fortunately, she encountered a minister who stayed with her and called police." Reportedly, the teen, who McMenamin describes as being "soft-spoken, extremely serious young girl," was located by police with a backpack containing only a blanket, a change of clothing, and some music books. She had no cell phone or money.
While there were no charges filed against the girl's mother or any other family member, according to an arrest affidavit, she initially refused to give her name and admitted she had been told "by them not to tell the police who you are." The officers identified her by her music book-reportedly the girl aspires to being a concert pianist. The affidavit continued, "She further stated that she was no longer home because she was not meeting her parent's expectations, and that there had been many arguments over her failing grades."
Although Huynh could have faced up to five years in prison, he was sentenced to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service. Judge Garrett D. Page, who accepted a plea agreement in the case, also ordered him to complete parenting classes before he would be allowed to live at home.
McMenamin alleges that Huynh showed no remorse for his actions and believed that he could punish his child in whatever way he wanted. "Throw her out instead of getting her a tutor. What kind of choice is that for a parent to make?" she said. "It's unconscionable and outrageous."
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