Two South Florida sisters are facing child neglect charges after authorities say they left their young children in a car while they gambled inside a casino.
Malory Pierre, 27, and Romanie Pierre, 31, are both facing four counts of child neglect without great harm after they left four children inside a running car outside the Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach Sunday, according to an arrest report read by Broward Circuit Judge John Hurley in court Monday.
Both were ordered held on $5,000 bond and it was unknown whether they have attorneys.
According to Hurley, the sisters took the car full of children -- ages 8, 5, 4 and 2 -- to the casino Sunday evening and left them in the running car while they went inside.
A woman noticed the kids were in the car between 20 and 30 minutes and called 911. Police arrived and had to have one of the kids unlock the car, Hurley said.
The oldest child told officers that their step-mom and her sister went inside and left them there. When officers found and questioned the sisters, one of them said she had gone inside to use the bathroom, while the other said she went inside to ask a question, Hurley said.
But after a brief investigation, police discovered the two had gone inside and were gambling and had checked in at the player's club and were playing slots, Hurley said.
Hurley ordered the two to stay out of casinos if they post bond, but wavered when asked by prosecutors to order them to have no contact with the children.
"It's inappropriate behavior there's no doubt about it, however, I'm not sure that, there's just a part of me that says it may be going too far to keep them away from the children," Hurley said.
The sisters said the children were at home with their mother, and Hurley decided against keeping them away from their kids.
"Hopefully these two have been scared and have been put in jail and maybe shocked into coming to their senses that what they have allegedly done is extremely poor judgment and I'm not going to take their kids away," he said.