WELLS TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A Jefferson County woman is accused of prostituting her daughter in exchange for drugs and money for at least four years, police said.
Police said they believe the crimes started when the child was 10 years old. The girl is now 14 years old.
The mother is charged with complicity of unlawful conduct with a minor and compelling prostitution.
The investigation started after Wells Township police received an anonymous tip that a 21-year-old man was living with a 14-year-old girl and her mother. Police later discovered an Internet posting from the man, Edward Oxley, claiming he loved the child.
"The gentleman we were investigating confessed to us he had sexual relations with the young girl," said Wells Township Police Chief John Ingram.
Police said Oxley's confession led to more information.
When police questioned the mother, they said she confessed to selling her daughter for sex more than once, sometimes for money and other times for crack cocaine.
Ingram said, "We began questioning the mother and the daughter and we found out there were multiple partners, in and out of the house and other places."
The girl is in the custody of Children's Services and officials there said she is doing as well as can be expected. Investigators said the child has medical problems, including sexually transmitted diseases, as a result of the encounters.
"If anyone deserves to go to jail for a long time it's (the mother). There's nothing worse than that," Ingram said.
Jefferson County Prosecutor Tom Strauss said this is not the mother's first run-in with the law.
Strauss said the woman is on probation for a prior drug trafficking case, which was a third-degree felony. He said prosecutors also currently have a motion pending to revoke the woman's probation and recommend a prison term.
Oxley also has a criminal record.
"Mr. Oxley has been convicted of two felonies very recently," Strauss said, adding that he believes the cases were in connection with theft and breaking and entering.
Both Oxley and the woman face jail time in connection with the child prostitution case, and Strauss said he will be paying close attention.
Both suspects have hearings scheduled on Monday to revoke their probations , but Strauss said those hearings will likely be continued as the prosecution sorts through the latest case.