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‘Worst thing that has come before this court': Mother financed addiction by letting drug dealer rape her child

The Washington Post The Washington Post 25/07/2016 Rachel Premack
April Corcoran. © Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. April Corcoran.

“I can honestly say that, in three-and-a-half years on the bench, this is by far the worst thing that has come before this court.”

So said Judge Leslie Ghiz of the Hamilton (Ohio) County Pleas Court as she sentenced April Corcoran to 51 years in prison Tuesday.

Her crime: Corcoran, 32, had pleaded guilty in June to raising money to feed her heroin addiction by loaning out her 11-year-old daughter to her drug dealer, who, with the mother’s blessing, raped and abused her, sometimes videotaping it, reported the Cincinnati Inquirer.

Thanks to Corcoran’s drug habit, this pre-teen was being forced to have vaginal, anal and oral sex with a 40-year-old man, according to the indictment against her.  

She pleaded guilty to multiple counts of complicity to rape, human trafficking and child endangerment.

The alleged dealer, Shandell Willingham, was also charged and is awaiting a hearing.

Shandell Willingham. © Dearborn County Sheriff Shandell Willingham.

Corcoran had a special routine after her daughter was brutalized by her drug dealer.

As a “reward,” she gave her daughter heroin, the court was told. The middle schooler vomited each time.

This happened at four times between February and June 2014. Corcoran still hasn’t expressed any apologies for her daughter for drugs, the judge said in court on Tuesday.

Now 13 years old, the girl is living out-of-state with her father and stepmother.

She is taking medication, has had suicidal thoughts and is undergoing medical care, Ghiz said in court Tuesday.

There’s doubt she will be able to cope.

“I saw my granddaughter. I heard her small voice,” the girl’s grandmother said in court.

“It was horrific. How could she (Corcoran) do this? I don’t know if my granddaughter is going to be able to have a normal life.”

The authorities learned of the case in June 2014, when the girl moved in with her father, who reported it.

The young teen’s plight didn’t shock locals in the rural area of Ohio where Corcoran lived, the paper reported at the time of her arrest. 

“I mean, things like this happen a lot down here,” resident Keith Benson said.

“Probably not to this degree, but there’s constantly being reports of animal abuse and fights breaking out around. It’s a little bit surprising but not entirely unexpected.”

“As a parent, it is hard to imagine how you could use your child to satisfy your drug addiction,” Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters said at the time of the indictment.  

“Even after all my years as a prosecutor, I continue to be amazed at how badly parents treat their children. What this little girl endured is unimaginable and I can only hope that mom and drug dealer’s prosecution and intense counseling will help this child regain some trust in the world. This case is Exhibit A for how devastating heroin is to our communities.”

“They tell me before she became hooked on heroin,” James Bogen, Corcoran’s court-appointed attorney told the paper,” she was a very loving and attentive parent.”

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