LAWRENCE — Jennifer Goguen left her toddler in the care of her 17-year-old brother Friday night and returned to find an underage drinking party being broken up by police.
That was the story Goguen's lawyer told yesterday in Lawrence District Court, where Goguen, 25, of 109 E. Haverhill St., second floor, was arraigned on charges of child endangerment and furnishing alcohol to minors.
"She didn't do anything wrong," said attorney Christian Colwell. "She left her child with a sibling, came back and found people in the apartment."
Lawrence police found Goguen's 2-year-old son in what Patrolman Michael Mangan described in a police report as "uninhabitable" conditions.
The child, who, due to kidney problems, has an intravenous feeding tube attached to his stomach, was left uncovered inside a bedroom with a large hole in the window, according to the report.
Police said they believe the apartment has been foreclosed on and is without heat.
Responding officers heard the child crying around 11 p.m., just before breaking up the gathering, where they said they confiscated marijuana, cocaine and alcohol and arrested 13 underage partygoers.
But yesterday, Colwell claimed there were no holes in the bedroom window. He said the apartment was kept at a "reasonable" temperature, and that a space heater and blankets were kept near the child.
Representing the state yesterday was Assistant District Attorney Janelle Amadon.
"I would suggest that this is a very serious child endangerment case," said Amadon.
Lawrence police Chief John Romero said yesterday that he wasn't surprised Goguen's lawyer tried to minimize the conditions of the apartment at her arraignment.
"If their statement is that we're exaggerating the facts, that is absolutely incorrect," Romero said. "The child was in an environment that was dangerous. We're talking about a child that has medical issues."
Upon entering the apartment, police found Goguen's son being held by a female in a side bedroom.
The child was taken by ambulance to Lawrence General Hospital, where he was examined and later released to an aunt who was not present at the party.
Colwell said Goguen's son was born premature, which is why he needs a feeding tube.
Colwell said Goguen left to visit her mother and asked her brother Jacob Ramos, 17, of 28 Summit Ave., to look after her son while she was gone. She returned to find police breaking up the party.
Ramos was among those arrested. He is charged with possession of alcohol as a person under 21, trespassing after notice, child endangerment, and cocaine possession.
Amadon said Joshua Nieves, 22, of 109 E. Haverhill St., second floor, was the only person at the party over age 21. He was arrested on charges of procuring alcohol for minors and trespassing after notice.
Both Goguen and Nieves pleaded not guilty to their charges yesterday and were released. They are due back in court April 16.
Five others arrested at the party appeared in court yesterday and pleaded not guilty to charges of trespassing and illegal possession of alcohol: Sharina Santana, 18, 21 E. Haverhill St.; Kayla Carrasco, 17, 17 Short St.; Isabel Alba, 18, 316 Prospect St., second floor; Manolo Flores, 20, 109 E. Haverhill St., first floor; and John Morales, 17, 19 Brook St., first floor.
Mangan was one of nine police officers to respond to the apartment after a report was received of shots fired in the area.
A caller reported a fight at the same address earlier in the night.
Police reported smelling a strong odor of marijuana while walking up to the second-floor apartment, where the door was left partially ajar and the lock was missing.
Confiscated from the apartment were 13 bags of cocaine, a "dime bag" of marijuana, a 1.75 liter bottle of Brugal Dominican rum, a liter of Zaroff vodka, a liter of Caldwell's vodka, and a 40-ounce bottle of Corona beer, police said.