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Mother Accused of Endangering Children : Courts: Woman is arraigned on charges that she locked daughter, 4, and son, 2, in shed.


GLENDALE — A Glendale woman was charged Tuesday with two counts of misdemeanor child endangerment after allegedly locking her two young children in a dark, spider-infested storage shed.

Helen Eshan, 32, pleaded not guilty at her arraignment in Glendale Municipal Court. Bail was set at $8,000.

Eshan's 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son were found in a padlocked shed in the back yard of their Glendale home on Friday morning after a neighbor heard the sound of children crying, Glendale police said.

When officers found them, the children were only wearing diapers and were walking barefoot amid broken glass in the unlighted shed, which was infested with spiders, police spokesman Chahe Keuroghelian said. Eshan told an officer that the children had been in the 7-by-3-foot shed for about 15 minutes. Both children had small cuts on their legs.

"The kids were very much in pain and in fear and in distress," Keuroghelian said, adding that the shed was crowded and had little room for the children to walk around.

The little girl told investigators that their mother had previously locked them in the shed during the day and at night.

The neighbor who called authorities said he had heard crying coming from the shed on several occasions.

Eshan, a widow, told police that ever since her husband's death a year ago she has had problems with her children.

She told the officer that she puts the children in the shed so she can "rest for a while," Keuroghelian said.

To the mother, "it was an accepted form of discipline," Deputy Dist. Atty. Lawrence MacGrail said.

The children have been placed in the care of their maternal grandparents, who also live in Eshan's home on West Chestnut Street.

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