Thursday, April 23, 2009

Son In Room During Prostitution Arrest
If you can even call her a Mom.
BENSALEM, Pa. - Bensalem Township police arrested a mother for alleged prostitution at a motel. They say her 7-year-old son witnessed her performing sex acts and she lived in squalor.
Police said they found a terrible case of innocence lost at the tired motel on Old Lincoln Highway, Fox 29's Julie Kim reported.
Police said 36-year-old Catherine Thomas engaged in the world's oldest profession right in front of her son.
According to Bensalem Director of Public Safety Frank Harran, "This lady had her 7-year-old son, while she was servicing Johns, he was locked in the bathroom and he lived in the shower stall and that's where he played. There were also when he was underneath a desk where she put him kind of with a dog cage in front of it to lock him in there."
How long had this been going on? Police said Thomas moved around a lot and had stayed at the Mall Motel for more than three months.
Those who stay at the motel said they never knew
"I don't even know what was going down," one man said.
But police said someone took notice. An anonymous tip came in Monday. An officer, posing as a John, arrested Thomas and found the boy.
"We found him in the shower stall in deplorable conditions. The room smelled like human feces and urine. There was dirt everywhere -- dirty clothes, dirty underwear," Harran said.
Children and youth services now have custody of the boy. No doubt, the entire experience has left an imprint.
"He told the officers that, when he sees mom engaged in her activity, that he said has to pray to God for forgiveness," Harran said. "I've been doing this for 23 years, and this is probably the top 10 things that I'll remember," Harran said.
As for Thomas, Harran said, "I'm not so sure we can call her a mother or a parent."
Thomas has been charged with prostitution and endangering the welfare of a child. Police said she also faces counts for marijuana and drug paraphernalia also found in the motel room.
She was taken to the Bucks County prison in lieu of $20,000 bail and her court appearance will be on April 29.
Three dogs Thomas also kept in the motel were transported to a humane society for evaluation, police said.

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