A woman from Ohio has been sentenced to 51 years to life in prison for the “horrific” crime of allowing her drug dealer to have sex with her 11-year-old daughter to obtain heroin to feed her addiction, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Judge Leslie Ghiz of Ohio’s Hamilton County Pleas Court said during the sentencing April Corcoran showed “no kind of mercy” in allowing a 42-year-old man to rape her daughter.
“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,” Ghiz said, according to the Enquirer.
“I don’t know that you grasp the damage that has been done to this poor child.”
Corcoran, 32, pleaded guilty in June to multiple charges that included complicity to rape, human trafficking and endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors said the girl was raped, sodomized, and forced to perform oral sex with the encounters sometimes videotaped.
The dealer, Shandell Willingham, 42, was also charged and is awaiting a hearing.
The girl’s grandmother told the courtroom she doesn’t know if the young girl will ever recover from the ordeal.
“I saw my granddaughter. I heard her small voice,” the grandmother said. “It was horrific. How could [Corcoran] do this? I don’t know if my granddaughter is going to be able to have a normal life.”
Now 13, the girl is living out of state with her father and stepmother, according to the Enquirer.
Prosecutor Katherine Pridemore said the crimes highlight the ongoing heroin crisis that has gripped Ohio.
“She didn’t have the cash or the means to buy her heroin anymore from her drug dealer, so she offered up her child,” Pridemore said at a press conference. “We all know drugs make you do things but at the same time, to offer up your child and you are the mother, it’s unfathomable.”
In 2015, 213 Hamilton County residents died of heroin-related overdoses, according to the local coroner’s office. The U.S. has seen a dramatic spike in the number of overdoses from heroin, oxycodone and other opiates that killed more than 28,000 Americans in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Canada has been battling its own opioid crisis related to the deadly drug fentanyl that has resulted in an a surge of fatal overdoses.
Hamilton County prosecutor Joseph T. Deters said in a statement he continues to be shocked by the drug-fueled crimes committed by parents.
“As a parent, it is hard to imagine how you could use your child to satisfy your drug addiction,” 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 counselling will help this child regain some trust in the world. This case is Exhibit A for how devastating heroin is to our communities.”