If you are concerned about a child being neglected or abused, call Maine’s 24-hour hotline at 800-452-1999 or 711 to speak with a child protective specialist. Calls may be made anonymously. For more information, visit maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/cw/reporting_abuse.

The Corinna parents charged in the near-fatal overdose of their 11-month-old daughter made their first court appearance Friday, a day after their arrest on charges related to the infant’s ingestion of fentanyl.

Superior Court Justice William Anderson set bail at $5,000 cash for 22-year-old mother Taezja DiPietro, while 26-year-old Zachary Borg’s cash bail was set at $10,000.

DiPietro and Borg appeared in court via video link from the Penobscot County Jail. They were charged with aggravated furnishing drugs to a minor, domestic violence reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, endangering the welfare of a child and possession of a Class W drug.

Under their bail conditions, neither parent would be able to have contact with each other, their two children or any others under 14, possess or use intoxicants, and will be subject to random search and drug testing. DiPietro has had no prior criminal convictions and is a cook at a Dexter restaurant.

The two are next scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 3. The court sought a higher bail amount for Borg because he had previously failed to appear in court on a fentanyl drug trafficking charge in Massachusetts, Assistant District Attorney Chelsea Lynds said.

Borg and DiPietro had called police to their home on the morning of June 26, reporting that their daughter was in medical distress. At her father’s suggestion, emergency responders administered Narcan to the child, who went into cardiac arrest, and took her to Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield. After being successfully resuscitated and stabilized, the toddler was flown via LifeFlight to Bangor’s Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Borg and DiPietro were arrested five days later on Thursday and taken to the Penobscot County Jail where they remained in custody overnight.

Deputies with the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office found fentanyl in several rooms of the parents’ home, including their daughter’s bedroom, where fentanyl was found in the child’s playpen, Lynds said. Fentanyl residue was also on her teddy bear. DiPietro told the court that one of Borg’s acquaintances who had been at the house the night before had left the drugs behind.

“It’s lucky that she survived,” Lynds said of the infant.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 100 times more potent than heroin.

According to data from the Northern New England Poison Center, there were 45 cases in 2019 and 2020 in which Maine children 5 and younger were unintentionally exposed to opioids.

“These general unintentional exposures represent ‘exploration’ exposures, where young children touch or ingest items within their reach as they test their environment,” Colin Smith, communications coordinator for the center, said.

The most common type of opioid that children were exposed to was buprenorphine, a medication used to treat substance use disorder known commonly by the brand name Suboxone.

Patients in 39 of the 45 cases in which the poison center was involved were seen at a hospital. Six children experienced life-threatening symptoms.

 

Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to LRussell@bangordailynews.com.