Two Saugus schoolteachers are heading to the Middlesex House of Correction for furnishing alcohol to minors.
John and Josephine Penza, both public school teachers, face nine months in jail with 30 days to be served and the balance suspended for two years. Authorities say the two hosted a party on Aug. 18, 2013 "at which underage guests were drinking alcohol." At trial, prosecutors provided photographs of "a table set-up for the purpose of a drinking game and numerous empty alcohol containers."
Cops came to the Penza residence after a noise complaint made shortly before midnight that evening and found around 70 minors there.
In one of the more disturbing revelations at trial, prosecutors claimed that Josphine Penza coached a "highly intoxicated" 16-year-old partygoer "to tell police that she was suffering food poisoning." That girl was later transported to a nearby hospital.
"Parents can no longer turn a blind eye when it comes to underage drinking," District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. "The statute makes it clear that allowing a minor to possess alcohol on your property violates the law."
Blodgett went on to say that he hopes the jail sentence "will send a message to other parents who think letting young people drink in their home is no big deal" and that parents should "not be tempted to allow your son or daughter to have friends over to drink, especially during the holidays or end of the year celebrations."