updated 1/23/2008 3:35:28 PM ET 2008-01-23T20:35:28

A man accused of drugging his 9-year-old daughter with cold medicine so he could meet his mistress has pleaded guilty to endangerment for leaving the girl and her younger sister alone at night.

In court, Richard Bowen did not admit to giving one girl Nyquil so she would sleep, but prosecutors said he admitted it during phone calls from jail.

Police said Bowen was responsible for his 8- and 9-year-old daughters while his wife worked overnight. On several occasions between February and May, he allegedly gave the cold medicine to the 9-year-old, then put both girls to bed before leaving to visit his mistress.

Prosecutor Michelle Olshefski said Bowen admitted to the allegations in phone calls from jail to his family, friends and his girlfriend.

The calls influenced Bowen's decision to plead guilty, defense attorney Paul Walker said.

He pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of endangering the welfare of children, which carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison. As part of the deal, prosecutors dropped corruption of minors, reckless endangerment and other charges.

Bowen, 31, of Olyphant, remains in jail. A sentencing date has not been set.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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