PITTSBURGH, Pa. — A judge dismissed charges Wednesday against parents who left four children with a teen-age baby-sitter for 16 days, saying they were foolish but not reckless.
"Their judgment in my opinion was appalling," Chief Pittsburgh Magistrate Donald Machen said of James Fignar, 37, and Bonnie Railing, 28.
But while the couple displayed "extremely poor judgment," they had no criminal intent and knew their children were not in danger, Machen said.
"I hope you are able to get your lives back together," he told them.
The couple had been charged with four counts each of child endangerment for leaving the children, ranging in age from 2 to 10, with a 14-year-old baby-sitter while they went to Lawrenceville, N.J., where Fignar had a temporary construction job.
Railing accompanied her husband because his crew was shorthanded. The pair admitted to Machen that they also stopped in Atlantic City, N.J., for a few hours to gamble.