The media is flooded every day with stories of horrific rapes and sexual assaults, yet some cases still manage to shock the public with their brutality and unbelievable atrocities committed by one human being against another. One of those cases came before the court in Hamilton County, Ohio, on Tuesday for sentencing. April Corcoran pleaded guilty back in June to trafficking her 11-year-old daughter in exchange for heroin, allowing her 40-year-old drug dealer to repeatedly rape the girl and feature her in videotaped child pornography. Corcoran also confessed to giving her daughter heroin as a “reward” after some sexual assaults, which involved vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
Even seasoned law enforcement personnel could not believe the depravity forced by a mother on her preteen child, including Judge Leslie Ghiz of the Hamilton County Plea Court. Ghiz handed down the sentence, but not before saying the case was “by far the worst thing” she had seen in her three years on the bench, according to the WLWT5 court footage.
“This court will have the kind of mercy on you that you had on your daughter, which is none. None.”
The sentencing reflected that, as Corcoran was sentenced to 51 years to life on multiple accounts of complicity to rape, human trafficking, and child endangerment. The forced prostitution of the underage girl occurred over a four month period in 2014.
Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Katie Pridemore detailed how Corcoran offered her daughter to satisfy the alleged drug dealer’s taste for young girls, even dressing her to look younger than her 11 years. Then Corcoran encouraged her to use heroin as a treat for good behavior, even though it made her vomit every time, according to Pridemore.
“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.'”
Ghiz did allow Corcoran to make a statement, according to the Washington Post. While Corcoran said she was ashamed of her “selfish” behavior, she did not even apologize directly to the victim, who is now 13-years-old. The girl now lives with her father, who reported the crime, and her stepmother. She is currently under medical care for depression and suicidal ideation, according to Judge Ghiz.
The alleged drug dealer, Shandell Willingham, is awaiting a hearing on August 10 on the same multiple counts as Corcoran, and has already been convicted in Indiana on child pornography charges and unrelated drug charges.
Ghiz said she had to take breaks when reading the details of the crimes because of the horrific nature of the case, conveying the emotional impact on her while sentencing Corcoran.
“All I can do is weep for her. You are the one person in the world, her mother, who is her first line of defense — you are your child’s first line of defense — and you threw her under the bus to get high.”
Likewise, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters noted this case stood out for him when announcing the indictment back in 2015, the first human trafficking indictment ever in Hamilton County.
“As a parent, it is hard to imagine how you could use your child to satisfy your drug addiction. 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.”
Corcoran also has a son, according to WLWT5, but there have been no reports of abuse related to that child, and his age and current status have not been reported.
[Photos via Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and Dearborn County Sheriff]