A 5-year-old girl in Alabama was reportedly sexually molested by an older man while her mother worked as a prostitute in the next room over, police said on Jan. 5.
The 34-year-old mother, whose name is being withheld in order to protect the identity of the victim, took her young daughter to visit a client in the city of Pleasant Grove, Alabama, on Dec. 8.
Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid said that there were two men at the home at the time of the act, AL.com reports. One man was with the mother in a closed room while 51-year-old Orlando Howard sexually abusing her daughter in the living room.
The woman reportedly told police that she went to check up on her daughter after she heard her crying from the other room. An affidavit filed in the case said that the woman discovered Howard on his knees, according to the Associated Press. Her daughter said he tried to penetrate her.
The mother is only allowed to be with her child under supervision, and the child's legal guardian is her grandmother. The woman did not report the incident to either police or to the child's grandmother until a day after it took place.
Howard has denied molesting the child, according to his attorney, Thomas Thrash.
Howard received a 10-year prison sentence for rape in 1987 and has been arrested multiple times since then for failing to register as a sex offender.
He was arrested on Dec. 16 and is currently being held at the Jefferson County jail on a $120,000 bond, WVTM 13 notes. He has been charged with two counts of sodomy, and his preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 19, according to AP. The mother was arrested and charged with child abuse -- failure to protect, but she was released after posting the $7,500 bond.
"What do you say about something like this?" Reid said of the case, according to AL.com. "It breaks your heart, and I'm disgusted."