Couple left toddlers in car to attend wine event, police say

WASHINGTON — The parents of two toddlers have been charged for allegedly leaving their children in a car in freezing weather while they attended a wine tasting in Washington, police said.

The parents, Christopher Lucas, 41, and Jennie Chang, 46, said they parked their car outside the U.S. capital’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Saturday and left an open iPhone behind to monitor the children, according to a police report.

The couple left the children, both less than 2 years old, in the car to attend a wine tasting at an upscale restaurant, the report said.

Lucas and Chang were arrested and charged on Monday in the District of Columbia Superior Court with two counts of second-degree cruelty to children. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The couple have pleaded not guilty, and a judge has ordered them to stay away from their children. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 18, and a lawyer for Lucas and Chang could not immediately be found.

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