JOHNSONBURG — A Ridgway woman is facing child endangerment charges after she, while reportedly under the influence of drugs, was allegedly found with children in a home with no electricity, heat or running water.
Jessica Lynn Raught, 38, of Ridgway, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of children, according to a criminal complaint filed at Magisterial District Judge James Martin’s office July 19.
On May 7, the Johnsonburg Borough Police Department was contacted by Elk County Children and Youth Services concerning Raught and two children, who were reportedly living in an abandoned house in Johnsonburg without electricity, heat or water.
Police spoke with a woman at a Water Street residence, who said she was letting Raught and the children live there to be helpful, but asked them to leave five days prior. According to the witness, she was “fed up” with Raught’s drug use and her leaving the children unsupervised. She said she believes Raught was now living in a green-colored house on Church Street, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Police responded to the house. After several attempts knocking on the door, Raught opened it, and let police inside. Two children, ages 12 and 14, were reportedly found inside. According to Raught, she was given permission to stay there and had been there for one week. The house had no electric, heat or running water, according to the affidavit of probable cause. The temperature outside was 45 degrees, police said. One child was sleeping on a mattress upstairs, and the other was sleeping on a futon. There were a few food items in the house and gallons of water.
Due to the living conditions, police charged Raught with child endangerment. She told them she reportedly had nowhere else to go.
Police were contacted by a CYS employee later that day, who said they performed an oral drug test on Raught, who allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine.
Raught’s preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 18 at Martin’s office.