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Published: Friday, 3/18/2005

Man guilty of giving son, 3, marijuana

VAN WERT, Ohio - A man who gave his 3-year-old son marijuana last summer has been convicted of corrupting a minor with drugs, according to Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

A jury took 90 minutes Tuesday to convict Joshua Minyoung, 23, of Van Wert of administering marijuana in July to his son, who was not named because of his age. Minyoung will be sentenced April 27 for the fourth-degree felony. In the meantime, he is free on bond and not allowed to have unsupervised contact with the boy, assistant prosecutor Eva Yarger said yesterday.

Reports from the Van Wert police department indicated that the child tested positive July 2 for marijuana use, according to a court document. One of Minyoung's friends testified that Minyoung pointed out the boy to him that day, saying, "Look at him, he is stoned."

The friend told the jury he became upset and left, later telling Minyoung's then-estranged girlfriend what had happened. She called the authorities, and they notified the boy's mother, Ms. Yarger said. She took the child to Van Wert County Hospital for a drug test, which came back positive for marijuana.

No one seems to know how exactly the boy ingested the drug, Ms. Yarger said. Minyoung's attorney implied that the boy's mother's husband could have been the culprit since he had previously used marijuana. Minyoung himself denied any involvement.

"He has refused to accept any responsibility," Ms. Yarger said.

Meanwhile, the youngster, who turns 4 in a couple of months, seems fine, she added.

Minyoung faces an 18-month sentence.

Ms. Yarger said it was not the first case she had come across involving a parent giving drugs to a child. "We have had reports on occasion, but we have never been able to prove it," she said. "At least I haven't."

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