COLUMBIA — Erin Elizabeth Ridenhour, 30, pleaded guilty to three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and received the maximum sentence of three years in prison.
Ridenhour was originally charged with two additional counts of endangerment and one of sexual misconduct involving a child, all of which were dismissed in a sentencing hearing on Monday.
According to a probable cause statement, three girls — ages 14, 15 and 16 — reported Ridenhour provided alcohol to them on Dec. 29, 2010, at her home on Kirk Hill Road.
She then left them to babysit her sons, ages 5 and 8, for an hour, returned with more alcohol and Adderall, which is a controlled substance, and gave them to two of the girls. The girls told police that Ridenhour asked an adult male friend named "Willie" to come over to her house.
When "Willie" arrived at the residence, the girls reported, Ridenhour said he was 21 and told them to tell him they were 18. She then took him and the girls upstairs where she performed oral sex on the man and encouraged them to do so as well, according to the police statement. Two of the girls participated in oral sex and one of them had vaginal sex with ''Willie'' once Ridenhour gave "Willie" a box of condoms.
Ridenhour was arrested on Jan. 7, 2011, in a police investigation of the girls' claims. She pleaded not guilty to all of the original charges but changed her plea to guilty on counts of endangering the girls' welfare at a hearing on Jan. 23, 2012.
The prosecutor's office could not be reached to comment on why the other charges were dismissed in favor of convicting Ridenhour of the child endangerment charges.
The suspect "Willie" is still at large. The police report from the girls' statement described the man as black, approximately 25 years old and 5 feet 10 inches with a muscular build and dark complexion.