Grandmother in Viral Heroin Photo Passed Out With Child in Car Sentenced to 180 Days in Jail

liverpool-compressedEAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio — The grandmother recently seen in a shocking viral photo showing her and a male friend passed out from a heroin overdose while a young boy sat in the back seat of the car has been sentenced to 180 days behind bars.

Rhonda Pasek, 50, pleaded no contest on Wednesday to charges of endangering a child and public intoxication and was sentenced to serve six months in the Columbiana County Jail.

As previously reported, Pasek became the center of discussion nationwide after the City of East Liverpool posted to social media an unblurred photo of the grandmother and her friend James Accord, 47—along with the young boy—stating that it needed to “be a voice for the children.”

“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug,” officials explained. “We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess. This child can’t speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody.”

According to reports, on Sept. 7, Kevin Thompson, an officer with the East Liverpool Police Department observed a vehicle weaving erratically and then coming to an abrupt stop behind a school bus. A short distance later, the car came to a complete stop in the middle of the road and Thompson approached.

He found Acord behind the wheel, who, with a bobbing head, sought to communicate that he was taking Pasek to the hospital. Pasek was passed out in the front seat, and Acord likewise fell unconscious moments later.

Thompson shut off the car and called for paramedics, who administered the opiate reversal drug Narcan and transported the two to the hospital. Police told CNN on Monday that the two “almost definitely” would have died if Thompson had not intervened as they had overdosed on heroin.

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But while tending to passed out pair, Thompson noticed that a young boy—Pasek’s grandson—was riding in the back seat of the car, strapped in his car seat. The officer took photos of the scene, which police administrators soon decided to publicly release on social media, along with the affidavit outlining the incident.

Reports now outline that Pasek had been raising the boy since July as her son and his girlfriend had lost custody of two of their three children due to the girlfriend’s struggles with cocaine and marijuana. The judge that granted Pasek guardianship says he had no idea that she was on drugs herself.

“We are well aware that some may be offended by these images and for that we are truly sorry, but it is time that the non-drug using public sees what we are now dealing with on a daily basis,” the city wrote in sharing the photo. “The poison known as heroin has taken a strong grip on many communities not just ours, the difference is we are willing to fight this problem until it’s gone and if that means we offend a few people along the way we are prepared to deal with that.”

Acord plead no contest and was sentenced to 360 days behind bars. Pasek soon did the same but faced a lighter sentence of 180 days.

The boy has now been transferred to the custody of Pasek’s sister, his great aunt and uncle, in South Carolina.

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  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Thank God they were alive and not dead! May these people get saved through knowing Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord even in prison. Being born or living in USA is like winning a huge lottery on Planet Earth. Working hard alone guarantees the successful dream life in any place where the Christian Britons created a nationhood. In this paradise-like USA, people still seek additional super-pleasures and destroy themselves and their loved ones; it’s so sad. Don’t start substance. There is nothing more pleasurable than breathing the clean air and drinking clean water and gazing at the colorful skies. Cheap food is very delicious in America. Children only need good godly parents to be happy.

    • LadyInChrist♥BlessedBeTheLord

      Thank God they are alive. I pray they do come to Christ before it is too late for them.

      • Grace Kim Kwon

        Yes! I thought they were corpse at initial sight. As long as one is alive, there is hope. I hope they can hear or read about Jesus.

        • LadyInChrist♥BlessedBeTheLord

          My sister got hooked on drugs and drank a lot many years ago.She got real sick Doctors said she damaged her liver. If she wanted to live she needed to stop. It was very hard for her to stop. Once she came to Christ He helped her to quit. She is still alive today. Jesus is the only way. And I really hope they Read and hear about Jesus soon.

          • Grace Kim Kwon

            Thank God for your sister’s salvation and recovery! Yes, Jesus is the only Way. He truly rescues us from anything.

          • LadyInChrist♥BlessedBeTheLord


  • james blue

    I know the authorities are to blame for making the picture public without doing it themselves, so it’s already out there, but why does this site not have the decency to blur the child’s face. Even sites like Brietbart do so.

    • Grace Kim Kwon

      I think it is to show American children’s sorrow in amoral USA. Child’s face changes over time. Children grow fast.

      • james blue

        So you think our country amoral yet you don’t consider the problems publicly identifying that poor child could cause him as he tries to go through school etc?

        • Grace Kim Kwon

          Most secular nations are amoral, especially USA’s servant nations. People won’t recognize him. Every child needs protection anyway.

  • Jason P

    Only Philosophy and the expanded conscientiousness it brings, will free mankind. Humans are thinking animals; linger among master thinkers; unless your nature is more animals than human.