While some teenage boys might nominate her as “mother of the year,” Judy H. Viger, 33, has been arrested on five counts of endangering the welfare of a child after she allegedly hired strippers to perform at her 16-year-old son’s birthday party.
Prosecutors insist that the dancers (who did not strip nude) did perform intimate dances and that five of the kids were younger than 17. Police also reported that several kids at the party got lap dances. However, there were over 80 kids and adults at the party watching the performance of women from “Tops to Bottoms.”
I find the party wildly inappropriate and I would be exceptionally ticked off if I was not told about the theme (and I would not allow my kid to attend the party). The picture below does show how inappropriate the party was. I cannot imagine any parent watching this type of display, let alone arrange it. However, the question is whether it is a form of endangerment, particularly if the parents of the boys were present. What is interesting is that the parents of the other boys could also be charged under this standard:
§ 260.10 Endangering the welfare of a child.
A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a child when:
1. He or she knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the
physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than seventeen years
old or directs or authorizes such child to engage in an occupation
involving a substantial risk of danger to his or her life or health; or
2. Being a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the
care or custody of a child less than eighteen years old, he or she fails
or refuses to exercise reasonable diligence in the control of such child
to prevent him or her from becoming an “abused child,” a “neglected
child,” a “juvenile delinquent” or a “person in need of supervision,” as
those terms are defined in articles ten, three and seven of the family
3. A person is not guilty of the provisions of this section when he or
she engages in the conduct described in subdivision one of section
260.00 of this article: (a) with the intent to wholly abandon the child
by relinquishing responsibility for and right to the care and custody of
such child; (b) with the intent that the child be safe from physical
injury and cared for in an appropriate manner; (c) the child is left
with an appropriate person, or in a suitable location and the person who
leaves the child promptly notifies an appropriate person of the child’s
location; and (d) the child is not more than thirty days old.
Endangering the welfare of a child is a class A misdemeanor.
The use of “moral welfare” in the language is highly problematic from a constitutional standpoint. Since there was not physical harm, the only enforceable basis would be mental harm. Would watching or even participating in a lap dance be mentally harmful for a 16 year old boy today? Should this be charged as a crime?
Source: New York Daily