US mother pleads guilty to prostituting mentally disabled teenage daughters for US$20

By @chelean on
Photo of a pair of handcuffs Reuters/File

A mother in the US has pleaded guilty to prostituting her two mentally disabled teenage daughters. Teresa Vanover, 52, charged men from US$5 to US$20 (AU$6.8 to AU$27.3) to sexually abuse her daughters, who were just 15 and 13 years old.

Vanover, from the North Carolina state, was charged with 24 counts of child abuse by prostitution and 24 counts of promoting prostitution with a minor with a disability, the Greensboro reports.

According to the police, Vanover admitted that she forced her older daughter, who was just 15 at that time, to allow sexual acts to be performed by prominent men in their area in exchange for US$5 to US$20. She would also sometimes engage in sexual acts at the same time or made her daughter watch as she had sex with one of the men.

When her daughter eventually refused to continue, Vanover then began to use her younger daughter, who was 13. She used the money to pay her husband’s medical bills and to support her crack cocaine habit.

The older daughter alerted the police in September 2015, two months after their father passed away in July and there were no longer medical bills to pay.

“We don’t have to do it anymore because daddy is dead,” the daughter told the police, according to a transcript read by district attorney Craig Blitzer.

“This is one of the most disturbing cases factually I’ve heard in my 10 years on the bench,” Wilkes County Superior Court Judge Mike Duncan said.

Vanover appeared at the Rockingham County Courthouse last week to enter a plea deal. She was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years on three of her charges. She was also sentenced to 6.5 years in prison for the other 45 charges, which will run concurrently with her other sentences. Two men were also sentenced connected to that case.

Everett Ferris Jr. pleaded guilty in March to six counts each of patronising a prostitute and indecent liberties with a child. He was sentenced to a minimum of 6.5 years in the first conviction, and a minimum of 16 months for the second, which was suspended. He will instead serve 36 months in probation.

Donnie Carter pleaded guilty to two counts of forcible sex offence, two counts of indecent liberties with a child and one count of patronising prostitute with severe mental disability. He was sentenced last week to a minimum of 5 years and 3 months in prison, as well as 36 months of probation.

A third man, Thomas “Tommy” Woodall, 67, pleaded guilty to statutory rape, which is sex offence with someone over six years old, and abetting prostitution. He is serving a minimum of 16 years and 2 months in prison.

Another defendant, Mickey Snow, 75, has not yet entered a plea. His trial is expected to commence in July.