Mom of girl, 12, `never took her out'

Neighbour of crack den says girl neglected but never saw sex abuse
May 05, 2007 04:30 AM

Staff Reporters

A 12-year-old disabled girl, allegedly sexually abused by the crack addicts who frequented her mother's drug den, lived in squalor and rarely left the dirty third-floor apartment in the city's west end, according to a long-time neighbour.

The girl's 42-year-old mother has now been charged with corrupting children. Six regulars of the crack house face charges including sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to touching. A medical examination of the child revealed cocaine in her system.

The child's grandmother and aunt became concerned about her welfare last fall because of her mother's worsening drug habit and contacted the Children's Aid Society of Toronto, a source said.

Authorities removed the girl from the apartment in November. She is currently in the agency's custody and "has improved immensely," said Supt. Ron Taverner of 23 Division on Thursday.

A neighbour, who called herself Debbie, said of the child's mother: "She never took her out, never took her to the park ... " The two have known each other for 17 years. "She was messed up, very messed up, very heavily addicted."

By her own admission, Debbie also smoked crack in the apartment. She said she didn't alert police about the child because she didn't trust them and didn't want to "rat out" her neighbour. The mother said she wasn't too concerned that her daughter was watching what was going on because she's "slow," Debbie recalled.

Debbie, 47, also knew some of the accused men.

"I never saw them touching her," Debbie said, adding she often talked with the child as crack was being smoked, but didn't think the child was in danger.

"I can't see her pimping out her daughter," she continued. "I didn't think she (the girl) was being molested or given crack."

Debbie, whose drug use prompted the CAS to take her own child, said she was shocked by the allegations but knows the grip that crack can have on people.

"It's sick and low," she said. "It goes to show what crack can do to some people ... they would sell their own soul ... that's what the drug does."

According to Debbie, the little girl has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and attended special education classes at a local school. ADHD is generally considered to be a developmental, largely neurological disorder.

Some days, she said, the child went to classes poorly dressed and in dirty clothes. The neighbour also said she often saw the girl sitting at the window, staring out. Though the child was "talkative, friendly and cheerful," Debbie said she rarely played with other kids and her two older siblings, aged 19 and 21, weren't living at home.

The last time she saw the girl was on Halloween and recalled how she had been dressed as a witch in a costume thrown together with old clothes and a cape.

Investigators say the assaults happened between November 2005 and November 2006. Police from Rexdale's 23 Division Youth Bureau began probing the sexual assault allegations in January.

More suspects are being sought in the attacks on the girl, police said.

Currently charged are:


  • Harold Cover, 55, of Mississauga: sexual assault; sexual interference; invitation to sexual touching and trafficking cocaine.



  • Radcliffe Parchment, 19, of Toronto: sexual assault; sexual interference; and invitation to sexual touching.



  • Muralee Balasubramaniam, 50, no fixed address: sexual assault, sexual interference, possession of dangerous weapons, and assault with intent to resist arrest.



  • Neil Rose, 44, of Brampton: sexual assault and sexual interference.



  • Dennis Guthrie, 52, of Whitby: sexual assault and sexual interference.



  • Linton Lewis, 47, of Brampton: sexual assault and sexual interference.


    Yesterday Justice Derek Hogg issued a bench warrant for Parchment's arrest after he failed to appear at a Finch Ave. court.


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