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September 18, 2013

Mother arraigned on child abuse charge

TRAVERSE CITY — A woman accused of leaving her young daughter home alone while she became intoxicated at a bar was arraigned in 86th District Court.

Sarah Ashley, 29, of Garfield Township, faces misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree child abuse and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, her first offense.

A $2,500 personal recognizance bond was continued during the arraignment. Ashley is due back in court Sept. 25.

The misdemeanor child abuse charge carries possible penalties of one year in jail or probation up to five years.

Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputies arrested Ashley on Aug. 30. Authorities said she arrived home from work that day, became upset with her child and left her home alone for roughly three hours at the Arbors of Traverse apartment complex. The child became distraught during that time and found her way outside. She was later found by two teenage girls, who called authorities.

Ashley is accused of driving to Brewery Terra Firma, a taproom across the street from the Arbors complex, and drinking before returning to her apartment.

Deputies were at the Arbors complex when Ashley returned and showed signs of intoxication. A portable Breathalyzer test found her blood alcohol content was .08.

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