CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield woman and her grandson who were living in deplorable conditions with his two children pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child this week.
Janice Marie Moore, 65, was sentenced to two years probation on Tuesday. Her grandson, Shawn Anthony Ortasic, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia on Monday. President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman sentenced him to nine months to two years in state prison.
In July of 2016, police were called to Moore and Ortasic’s residence on Nichols Street to check on the welfare of two children, according to the affidavit of probable cause. A caller had reported that an infant was in sleeping in a bedroom where needles were seen. This caller also commented that everyone in the house was drug users.
When officers arrived, Ortasic was holding the infant and the other child was standing in the yard. Ortasic was advised why they were at the residence and he stated that the accusations were “ridiculous.” Ortasic told officers that the residence was owned by his grandmother, Moore.
Before the officers entered the home, they detected the odor of urine and feces coming from the residence. A cat sitting on a chair on the porch where garbage could be seen appeared to have a large infected wound on its head.
An officer asked Ortasic’s wife to get Moore. When Moore came out onto the porch and was advised of the situation, she became irritated. She was asked for permission to check the living conditions in the home, but she refused.
She cited prior involvement with Children, Youth and Family Services as the reason for not allowing them into the house. The officer told her that because of his observations, CYS was already going to be contacted.
Moore stated that the home was a mess and she has not had time to clean it up. She told the officer to wait and returned a short time later, this time saying he could enter.
Inside, the officer saw several other cats and two dogs. He saw a child’s training toilet with urine and feces inside that appeared to have been there for some time. The odor of pet urine and feces was strong in the home also.
The hallway only had enough room for a person to walk sideways to get from room to room due to the amount of stuff along the walls. In the living room area, the officer saw diapers, garbage and cigarette butts. There were some baby bottles that seemed to have been there for some time.
When asked where the children slept, Moore directed him to a room with a queen-sized mattress on the floor and a Pack ‘N Play. She said her grandson slept here with the kids.
There was just enough room for the officer to stand in the entry way, and there was no room on either side of the bed. Numerous dirty diapers and a bottle with molded milk in it were on the dresser near the doorway. There was a capped syringe and a piece of a straw on the dresser that was close to the Pack ‘N Play.
In the kitchen, the officer saw more cats including another one that appeared to be injured. Dishes were piled on the counter and on the open stove door. Baby formula was seen next to a charcoal starting fluid container. A litter box was full of feces, according to the report.
The officer told Moore that the home was not suitable for anyone to be living in. She stated she was the sole person supervising the children.
CYS, the Code Enforcement Officer Larry Mack, Animal Control and Humane Officer Melissa Fannin were contacted. Mack confirmed to the police officer that the residence was unfit for human occupancy. He gave Moore three days to clean it up.
Fannin also gave Moore three days to get three of the cats to a veterinarian for treatment and to get the home cleaned up. She stated that all of the cats were infested with fleas and also needed attention.