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Minot woman charged with child neglect

Sarah Beth Engelstad, 39, Minot, is charged with Class C felony child neglect in district court in Ward County.

According to court documents, police were called to a southwest Minot restaurant on the evening of Sept. 22 because Engelstad had passed out drunk while she was supposed to be caring for two young children. The children were running around the restaurant, unattended. Engelstad told the waiter the kids had not eaten all day but she did not order any food for the children and she did not take them to the restroom after they told her they needed to go, according to the police affidavit.

Engelstad allegedly admitted to police that she had had “three shots” before she drove herself and the children to the restaurant, where she ordered more alcohol. The children were released to the custody of Child Protective Services.

She made an initial appearance on the charge on Friday before Judge Doug Mattson, who set bond at 10% of $3,000 and ordered Engelstad to have no contact with the two little girls except as permitted by the Ward County Human Service Zone.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 27.

Engelstad received a deferred imposition of sentence for five years in 2019 on a charge of Class C felony interference with a 911 call. She had been charged with taking the phone away from a boy who had called emergency services in October 2019 to report that he was afraid Engelstad might harm a younger child or herself because she had taken the younger child into the bathroom and had a butcher knife. Engelstad told police she was just taking a bath and denied that she had a butcher knife. Engelstad was also drunk on that occasion, according to court documents.

The deferred sentence meant that the charge would eventually be dismissed if Engelstad complied with court conditions but the state could also resume prosecution if she did not. Social Services had removed children from the home after the 2019 incident and also had involvement with Engelstad prior to 2019.

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