Dad charged after taking toddler to 'dope house'


A St. Paul man faces charges after police say he took his 2-year-old son to a “dope house,” where the boy became high from another person smoking methamphetamine in front of him, WCCO reports.

Joseph M. Ray, 22, was charged Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court with child endangerment, the Star Tribune reports.

According to the criminal complaint, Ray took the boy to Children’s Hospital Sunday because he was pale, dehydrated and had chapped lips. Medical staff said the toddler appeared to be under the influence of something. Police were called to the hospital and Ray admitted taking the boy to a “dope house” a few days earlier.

Ray’s son tested positive for amphetamine, which is an indication of exposure to meth, according to the Star Tribune.

Ray told the police the boy’s mother abandoned the child five weeks earlier, so he was caring for the child at his grandmother’s house on Jessamine Ave. E. in St. Paul, according to the Star Tribune. Ray told police he took the boy to a “dope house” across the street, where someone was smoking methamphetamine in the boy's presence. He added that a woman at the house gave his son “a teaspoon of liquid cherry Tylenol gel or something” because he looked sick, the complaint said.

Ray was also charged with violating a domestic abuse no-contact order. On Feb. 7, Ray was sentenced on a count of felony terroristic threats in Ramsey County, according to WCCO.

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