Two former local TV personalities have been indicted in Arizona for child abuse after their 4-month-old baby was found with cocaine in its system, authorities tell PEOPLE.
A public information officer for the Oro Valley Police Department says Krystin Rae Lisaius and Somchai P. Lisaius – both news personalities in the Tucson area – were indicted June 9 on three felony charges: possession of a dangerous drug, drug paraphernalia and child abuse.
Both pleaded not guilty in court on Monday, and were released on their own recognizance.
“It would be a gross, gross injustice [with] even the mention of prison time,” the Lisaius’ lawyer, Michael Piccarreta, told Tucson News Now. “I anticipate they will demonstrate that they have learned a very hard, embarrassing lesson and that this will become a footnote in their life, not a chapter.”
Police said they were alerted after the couple brought the baby, who was showing signs of distress and appeared lethargic, to the Oro Valley Hospital on May 15. The couple allegedly refused to allow a blood test on the baby, who was then transferred to Diamond Children’s Center at the Banner University Medical Center in Tucson by ambulance, police said.
At Banner, a urine test was conducted after the parents again allegedly refused a blood test, police said. Toxicology results showed the presence of cocaine.
Krystin, 26, later allegedly admitted to Oro Valley authorities that she ingested cocaine after a party at the couple’s home, police said. She allegedly said she breastfed the child 12 hours later.
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A friend identified only as “Thomas” told police that he allegedly watched Krystin “snort” the drug from the home’s master bathroom countertop after the party.
Thomas said he and Somchai, 42, allegedly also used cocaine during the evening. Police said Somchai allegedly confirmed the recent drug use, and, in a police report obtained by Tucson News Now, said he used cocaine every six weeks or so.
A search of the couple’s home produced multiple samples of drug paraphernalia, police said. Two small bags containing a white powder substance found at the residence tested positive for cocaine, they said.
Somchai is a former reporter at Tucson News Now, the station confirmed, and Krystin previously worked for nearby KGUN 9. Krystin also competed in 2013 for the title of Miss Arizona USA, according to the pageant’s website.
The baby was released from Banner Hospital within a few days of being admitted, and was placed with the maternal grandmother. The Department of Child Services is continuing to monitor the child’s welfare, police told PEOPLE.
Krystin was granted 24-7 contact with the baby, and Somchai is allowed to see the child for 12 hours a day, according to KAUZ 6.
“Hypothetically,” Piccarreta said, “if the child ingested cocaine through breast milk, then you gotta realize that there’s different understanding as to when a recreational drug will be out of your system.
“And if there’s a misjudgment as to how fast it’s out of your system, then it’s an error that has been learned. It won’t be repeated.”