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Mom accused of trafficking girl for heroin pleads guilty

Sentencing scheduled for July

UPDATED 6:33 PM EDT Jun 09, 2016
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CINCINNATI —A
Warren County mother pleaded guilty in a Hamilton County court
Thursday to 10 felony counts and admitted to using her daughter as a
means to satisfy her own drug addiction.

April Corcoran, 32, handed over her 11-year-old daughter to a
drug dealer for sex in exchange for him giving Cocoran heroin,
prosecutors said.
“The defendant that stands before you today was
addicted to heroin. She didn’t have the means or the cash to buy her
heroin anymore from her drug dealer, the co-defendant Shandell
Willingham so she offered up her child in return,” said Assistant
Hamilton County Prosecutor Katie Pridemore.
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Prosecutors said Corcoran took elaborate steps to make her daughter appear even younger than 11.
“Little
did we know, I guess, her drug dealer had a propensity to like little
kids and he also liked to film little kids when they are performing
sexual acts on him,” Pridemore said.
The alleged dealer is Shandell Willingham, who recorded some of the sex acts on video, police said.
Willingham
faces charges of rape, gross sexual imposition, pandering sexually
oriented matter involving a minor and human trafficking. He’s already
been convicted of drug crimes in Dearborn County.
Investigators
say he dealt drugs and had sex with the child inside the Machine Flats
building on Colerain Avenue in Camp Washington.
After the sex
and after Corcoran got her fix, prosecutors say Corcoran would call her
child a brave little girl and “reward” her.
“Sometimes this
defendant would give a little bit of heroin to her daughter. The
daughter didn’t want it but she said, ‘You’re a good girl, you did the
right thing,'” Pridemore said.
The charges Corcoran to which pleaded are enough to put her in prison for the rest of her life.
“She
wanted to take responsibility for her actions and she doesn’t want to
put her daughter through any further trauma,” said defense attorney
James Bogen.
Barbara Condo is the founder of One Way Farm Children’s Home in Fairfield.
The
home is not involved with the Corcoran case, but Condo said human
trafficking involving children is a serious concern locally.
“To
show you how serious this is, we have had three visits from Homeland
Security and they tell us, if you get any child that talks that they
have ever been sold, you are to notify Homeland Security right away,”
Condo said.
Condo says when children are raised by addicts, the roles begin to change.

“The
role of caring and making sure everything is all right of the mother
falls on the 11-year-old and the 11-year-old is, in the meantime, trying
to give to the parent everything she needs,” Condo said.
The addiction is so overpowering, Condo said, parents don’t realize what’s happening.
“The sad part about it is the children do. The children realize what’s happening and they don’t know what to do,” Condo said.
Oftentimes, it’s a vicious cycle. The child learns the kind of money she can make by prostituting.
“And
so to meet her own needs she substitutes with that. She becomes a
street prostitute if she doesn’t get hooked on heroin, too,” Condo said.
“That’s why we must get help, especially for the single mother that’s
on heroin.”
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Court
records show that Corcoran’s attorney asked this week for an expert
witness on addiction to assist in her defense, a request which was
granted.
Sentencing will take place next month. The girl now lives out of state with her father, authorities said.

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