Sep. 30—EAU CLAIRE — An Eau Claire woman who authorities say exposed her two young children to methamphetamine has the opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction.
The children were ages 1 and 7 at the time of the offense, authorities said.
Ashley M. Simpson, 35, 2921 Eighth St., pleaded guilty this week in Eau Claire County Court to a felony count of neglecting a child.
A felony count of possession of methamphetamine and a misdemeanor count of neglecting a child were dismissed but considered at sentencing.
As part of a two-year deferred agreement with prosecutors, the felony child neglect charge will be dismissed if Simpson pays a $300 fine, commits no new crimes, performs 40 hours of community service, pays $202 in restitution and has no contact with known drug dealers or users.
Simpson must also maintain absolute sobriety, undergo an alcohol and drug assessment and comply with directives from the Eau Claire County Department of Human Services.
According to the criminal complaint:
A police officer, social worker and public health worker went to Simpson's residence Aug. 9, 2021, to meet with Simpson and her children.
Simpson was told they were there because of possible methamphetamine usage in the home. Simpson didn't seem surprised by the subject of their visit. But Simpson denied using methamphetamine or anyone else coming into the home to use the drug.
Simpson did eventually admit to using methamphetamine a couple of times because she was tired. She said she used the drug two days earlier.
The younger child didn't have enough hair for a hair follicle test. But a hair follicle collected from Simpson's older child on July 29, 2021, was positive for the presence of methamphetamine.
Simpson denied having any methamphetamine in the home. She continued saying she doesn't have any because she doesn't want to put her children in harm's way.
When asked if there was anything in the residence that could contribute to the older child testing positive for the presence of methamphetamine, Simpson said "I can go grab the thing I have, but I don't think so. I'm not like a common drug user."
The social worker requested a urine sample from Simpson. While walking with the social worker to produce the sample, Simpson pointed out where the items discussed were located in her bedroom. The police officer then found a dresser top with a white substance lined in a row. It was within reach of the older child. A razor blade to cut the substance was nearby. Next to the blade was a butane torch, commonly used with methamphetamine consumption.
Simpson provided urine samples on Aug. 9, 11 and 14 in 2021. They were all positive for the presence of methamphetamine.