A Van Nuys father who left his 9-month-old daughter inside a car while he went to a strip club to buy lap dances was sentenced to jail and probation on Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Auwin Dargin, 26, pleaded no contest Wednesday to a felony count of child abuse, the DA’s office said in a news release.
He was sentenced to 10 days in county jail and five years probation. He was also ordered to complete 52 weeks of parenting classes, as well as 45 days of Caltrans service.
Dargin left the child alone in a locked car for about 43 minutes while he visited Synn Gentlemen’s Club on Sepulveda Boulevard in North Hills on the afternoon of March 9, 2016, according to prosecutors.
Employees of the club and neighboring businesses discovered the sweating and crying baby girl inside the vehicle about 2 p.m. and rescued her, prosecutors said.
The club’s assistant manager, Matthew Nadeau, was among those who helped get the child out of the sweltering car. He told the Los Angeles Times he saw one of the club’s patrons repeatedly leave and re-enter the club, which made him suspicious and spurred him to investigate.
He and a waitress went outside the club and heard the girl’s cries coming from inside a vehicle, which had a window slightly cracked, Nadeau said. He and other employees were able to unlock the car’s door by accessing it through the partially-open window.
Nadeau then went to his manager, who located the child’s father and found Dargin in the middle of a lap dance. The manager stepped in and informed the man that they had discovered his daughter.
Dargin was upset that his lap dance was interrupted, telling the manager as left the club, “Just give me my baby and I know I am messing up,” according to Nadeau.
Los Angeles police arrested Dargin as he left the club.
The defendant originally pleaded not guilty to the child abuse charge on April 5, according to an earlier DA’s news release. He had faced a possible maximum sentence of six years in state prison if convicted on the felony count.