An admitted prostitute who hid her 7-year-old son in the shower while she turned tricks in a Bensalem motel room pleaded guilty
Monday in Bucks County Court in Doylestown.
Catherine Thomas, 36, was sentenced to time served to one year in the county prison and granted immediate parole
. Judge Jeffrey Finley ordered her to complete six years of probation, undergo mental health and substance abuse evaluations, and cooperate with police investigating prostitution rings.
"Your actions are difficult to comprehend," Finley told Thomas. "It's hardly unheard of for a woman to prostitute herself for drugs or money. But to do so in a way that subjects your child to it, that takes it to a whole different level."
The child remains in foster care. Thomas, of Bensalem, served six weeks in prison after her arrest before making bail
. She told the judge she worked as a prostitute to support herself and her child, and she usually scheduled her "appointments" during times her son was in school.
"I didn't want to be a welfare mother," she said.
Thomas has three prior convictions for prostitution. Since her arrest, Thomas told the judge, she's been seeing a therapist and taking a parenting class sponsored by Bucks County Children and Youth.
She told the judge she's ready to change her ways, and losing custody of her son has made an impression on her.
"My main objective is to have my son back. Nothing was worse in my life than losing him," she said.
Thomas is living with family members in Bensalem. Her sister and brother-in-law testified she is a good mother and is working toward turning around her life.
Thomas pleaded guilty to child endangerment, prostitution and drug-related offenses. Police found a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in her room when she was arrested.