Charges dropped, child returned to actor

LOS ANGELES -- Charges Lou Gossett Jr. and his girlfriend gave cocaine to the Emmy Award-winning actor's young son were dropped Thursday due to a lack of evidence.

In a brief proceeding in Juvenile Court, Commissioner Virginia Chernack returned custody of Satie Gossett, 7, to his father.


Ms. Chernack acted after the Department of Public Social Services, the county agency which petitioned the court to take the child away from his father, asked the charges be dropped, citing the lack of evidence.

The child was taken from Gossett, 44, last month when his ex-wife, Christina Mangosing, told investigators the boy claimed Honey Rufner, Gossett's live-in girlfriend, had given him a teaspoon of white powder for breakfast one morning.

Authorities later raided Gossett's home and seized .098 grams of powder containing cocaine.

Miss Ruffner, 34, also won custody of her two children under the commissioner's decision.

Gossett and Miss Ruffner have pleaded innocent to felony charges of possession of cocaine and both asked to be placed in a drug counseling program. They are due to return to Municipal Court June 2 for a hearing to determine if they are eligible.

The two, free on $2,500 bail, face a maximum sentence of three years in prison if convicted.


Latest Headlines