Mom exposed kids to crack smokeDULUTH – A Duluth woman admitted that she smoked crack cocaine in her residence, exposing her 3-year-old twins to the smoke, as part of a guilty plea Tuesday.
By: Mark Stodghill, Duluth News Tribune, Worthington Daily Globe
DULUTH – A Duluth woman admitted that she smoked crack cocaine in her residence, exposing her 3-year-old twins to the smoke, as part of a guilty plea Tuesday.
Tari Lee Lauer, 41, pleaded guilty to a charge of child endangerment in St. Louis County District Court.
According to the criminal complaint, the twins were taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center to be tested for drugs last spring. The girl’s urine tested positive for cocaine and her twin brother’s hair specimen tested positive for cocaine. There was no allegation that the children were given the drug.
In a phone interview after today's hearing, Lauer said she had been free of drugs for eight years before relapsing.
"I made a horrible mistake and I paid. I suffered dearly for that," Lauer said. "My dad and my grandmother died in the same period of time. I had a lot of loss. I’m not saying what I did was right. People make mistakes and unfortunately we suffer the consequences, but I’ve worked my butt off to regain my life back. I’m sober and I’m in recovery. I’m going to my meetings and I have a wonderful sponsor."
Lauer said she has been off drugs for eight months.
Her crime came to light when a St. Louis County social worker made an unannounced visit to her home. Lauer claimed that she smoked the drug in the upstairs bedroom that shares a vent with the twins’ room. A doctor contacted as part of the investigation said that a child who tested positive for cocaine would have to have had more direct exposure to the drug than a shared vent with the room where the smoking occurred.
Lauer said she is sorry for that. "Kids can get exposed. You don’t realize that until it happens," Lauer said. "Addiction is a very prevalent disease in America."
Judge Shaun Floerke ordered that an investigation of Lauer’s background be conducted by an Arrowhead Regional Corrections probation officer and scheduled sentencing for next month.