Ohio woman accused of trafficking daughter, 11, for heroin

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Monday, March 23, 2015
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CINCINNATI -- A woman has been indicted on charges she trafficked her 11-year-old daughter for heroin, and a man is facing rape charges and other counts in the case, prosecutors said Monday.

Prosecutors said the 30-year-old woman from Pleasant Plain, in Warren County, faces 27 counts, including human trafficking, endangering children and complicity.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said at a news conference Monday with state Attorney General Mike DeWine that she would take her daughter to Shandell Willingham, 41, in exchange for drugs, then leave her with him and come back later. Willingham has been indicted on 26 counts, including rape, gross sexual imposition and human trafficking. Prosecutors said Willingham videotaped some of his sex crimes against the girl.

DeWine called the case "sad beyond measure," while Deters described it as "Exhibit A for how devastating heroin is" for communities.

"As a parent, it is hard to imagine how you could use your child to satisfy your drug addiction," Deters said in a statement. "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."

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they have been sexually assaulted and is not naming the mother to avoid identifying her daughter.

The woman's attorney, James Bogen, said he's still gathering the facts of the case. Court records didn't list an attorney for Willingham, of Cincinnati.

Authorities said both defendants could face the possibility of life in prison if convicted of all counts.

The indictment alleges that the sex crimes took place from Feb. 15 and June 6 of last year. In June, the girl went to live with her father and stepmother, whom she told what had happened, according to prosecutors. Authorities said she continues to live with them.