Casper Woman, Registered Sex Offender Arrested for Child Endangerment
A Casper couple was arrested Wednesday night after a police officer was called for a dispute between neighbors, and the officer found a child living in "completely unfit" conditions.
Jesse Christopher Carter, 45, and 42-year-old Mary Jo Ann Loewenhagen were each booked into jail on a charge of abandoning or endangering children. They will likely make their initial court appearances at 2 p.m. Thursday.
Carter is listed on the sex offender registry. According to the registry, he was convicted in September 2015 of possession of child pornography.
Charging papers say shortly after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, a Casper police officer responded to the couple's apartment in the 6000 block of Cherokee Lane after Carter had called police to report a neighbor had been threatening him.
Upon arriving at Carter's apartment, the officer "immediately observed the first floor to be in disarray with garbage, clothes and food throughout." The kitchen counters and sink were "completely packed with dirty dishes and old food," according to the affidavit.
Carter told the officer that an intoxicated neighbor in an adjacent apartment had come over to Carter's apartment and yelled at him. The officer walked over to the neighbor's apartment and told the neighbor to leave Carter and Loewenhagen alone, which the neighbor agreed to do.
The officer then returned to Carter's apartment and asked for Carter's consent to walk through the home. Carter agreed, explaining that he was in the process of cleaning the apartment, but wasn't finished.
In his affidavit, the officer noted the basement was cluttered with garbage and other items. The officer also found the upstairs hallway, and each room, to be "filled with clutter and garbage."
Loewenhagen and Carter explained that a child, who is seven or eight years old, would usually sleep in the master bedroom. The officer "noticed the upstairs bathroom and master bedroom to be the most unfit for children."
The affidavit goes on to detail the bedroom as "completely cluttered with garbage on the floor," as well as "a full open bag of trash on the side of the bed where [the child] had been laying."
Cigarette butts were all over the apartment in sinks, on tables, on the floor and on beds, as well. The mattress in the master bedroom "did not have any bed sheets on it and was littered with trash, crumbs and dirt," according to court documents.
Carter's probation agent told the police officer that she had conducted a home visit at the end of January and directed Carter to clean the apartment, which was "extremely disorderly." The affidavit says Carter had tested positive for marijuana on Tuesday.
Since Carter wasn't employed, the officer asked Carter why he hadn't been cleaning the apartment. Carter did not reply; Loewenhagen also was unable to provide an explanation for the condition of the home, saying only that she was "extremely tired from working night shifts."
The officer noted that the child appeared to be suffering from some type of illness, as the child continuously coughed while the officer was present. Carter and Loewenhagen claimed the coughing was due to allergies, as well as the fact that the child needed to have teeth pulled.
The officer took the child into protective custody, and an agent with the Wyoming Department of Family Services placed the child with Carter's mother.