MADISONVILLE (WATE) - Monroe County deputies made their first arrest under a new state law Tuesday. They charged Mallory Loyola with assault after she gave birth to a baby who tested positive for drugs.
Deputies say they got the call from DCS after the baby girl, born Sunday at UT Medical Center, tested positive for meth. They arrested the 26-year-old new mom as she was being discharged.
Loyola has a history of meth-related arrests in Monroe County. She's currently in jail without bond.
We went by Loyola's home in Madisonville Wednesday. Her mother did not want to speak with us, so we talked with her neighbor and high school classmate.
"It's heartbreaking. You don't want to bring a child into any kind of danger," said Kayla Guthrie, a new mom herself. "The innocent babies, they're not choosing to do those things. You're the one that is in charge of taking care of your body to make sure the baby stays healthy."
Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens says Loyola admitted to smoking meth just a few days before giving birth.
"Anytime someone is addicted and they can't get off for their own child, their own flesh and blood, it's sad," he said.
He hopes this arrest will be warning and maybe even a life-saver. "Hopefully it will send a signal to other women who are pregnant and have a drug problem to seek help. That's what we want them to do," he said.
The assault charge is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. However, the new law does allow entering a treatment program before the birth and successfully completely it afterwards as a defense.