Judge mulls challenge to charge in pregnant woman overdose
Oct. 17, 2017
BUTLER, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania judge is deliberating over a challenge to a criminal charge brought against a woman who authorities said overdosed while pregnant.
Thirty-year-old Kasey Dischman was charged with aggravated assault on an unborn child. Authorities said her child was delivered by emergency C-section following the June 23 overdose and sustained lasting injuries.
Public defender Joseph Smith argued Tuesday in Butler County that state law bars prosecutors from charging a pregnant woman with aggravated assault of her own unborn child.
Assistant District Attorney Laura Pitchford suggested that lawmakers in 1997 couldn't have anticipated the heroin epidemic or its effects, and authorities need to be able to bring such charges to protect infants.
Prosecutors have also added charges of child endangerment, corruption of minors and possession of drug paraphernalia.