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UPDATED: Gainesville Man Charged with Child Neglect for Leaving Children Unattended

| February 25, 2020 | 0 Comments | News

Lissage Dompierre

Prince William Police arrested a man, Monday, for leaving his children home alone.

Feb. 24 at 10 p.m., officers responded to a residence located in Stanwick Square in Gainesville to conduct a welfare check on two children who reside at the home.

The investigation revealed that there were two children, a 4-year-old girl and an 8-year-old girl, who were left unattended inside the home by a family member, identified as the accused.

Officers located the children unharmed. The accused returned to the home and was detained without incident.

The children were turned over to another family member.

Following the investigation, police charged the accused, Lissage Dompierre, 38 of Stanwick Square in Gainesville,  with 2 counts of felony child neglect.

His court date is pending. He was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Virginia does not set an exact age at which point children are able to stay home alone.

UDATED Feb. 26 at 2:45 p.m.

On social media readers wondered how a person could be charged with felony child neglect when the state does not exactly set at what age a minor can be left alone or babysit another child.

Prince William Police follow guidelines in these cases said police spokeswoman Officer Renee Carr.

“We are guided by local guidelines that suggest an age and timeframe for children to be alone/babysitting and guided by the VA Criminal Code,”  Carr said.

According to Sapling, Baby Sitters for Hire says children must be 12 to babysit for four hours or 13 to babysit for a longer period of time in Prince William County.

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center and Prince William Hospital offer a Safe Sitter course designed for 11 to 13 year olds. The Red Cross also offers classes to those age 11 and older.

Carr said in this incident the children were left at home longer than an hour, and it was a family member who contacted police to do a welfare check.

While the accused was charged with child neglect, he still needs to go before a magistrate. Carr said that officers, “present the probable cause that there was a violation of the code section, and the magistrate decides how to proceed.”

© 2020, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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