An Ohio woman has been indicted on charges alleging that she gave her 11-year-old daughter to a drug dealer in exchange for heroin, officials said Monday.
USA Today reports 30-year-old April Corcoran has been charged with 27 felonies. Authorities allege the woman, who lives in the small town of Pleasant Plain, gave her young daughter to alleged Cincinnati-area drug dealer Shandell Willingham, 41, so he could have sex with the girl.
Willingham was also indicted on 26 felony counts, including human trafficking, rape and charges related to allegations that he videotaped himself having sex with the 11-year-old.
Corcoran’s charges include human trafficking and endangering children. She also stands accused of having injected her daughter with heroin on at least one occasion.
Both Corcoran and Willingham could face life in prison if convicted on all charges.
In a Monday news conference, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said the nature of the charges shows just how destructive heroin addiction can be.
"Instead of protecting her daughter, the mother saw her as a way to get drugs because the lure of heroin was apparently too strong," Dewine said, calling the situation “sad beyond measure.”
Deters said crimes perpetrated by parents against their own children still trouble him, even after a long career as a prosecutor.
“What this little girl endured is unimaginable and I can only hope that mom and drug dealer’s prosecution, the love and support of her family and intense counseling will help this child regain some trust in the world,” Deters said according to WXIX News. “This case is exhibit A for how devastating heroin is to our communities.”
Investigators believe the alleged crimes took place last year between February and June at Willingham’s apartment.
Cincinnati police began investigating after Corcoran’s daughter went to live with her father and stepmother and reportedly told her stepmother of the alleged crimes.
The girl is still living with her father and his wife.
Deters said an assistant prosecutor met with the girl recently and that she is doing well considering the circumstances.
"I don't know how you could ever get past this," Deters said, according to USA Today.
Photo Credit: USA Today courtesy of Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, WikiCommons