Mother left orphan daughter with molesters, trial told

Date: 2011-04-21
Source: thestar.com

A mother adopted an orphan only to have her babysat by child molesters who went on to sexually assault the little girl, court hears.

By: Peter Small

A Toronto mother allowed two child molesters to repeatedly babysit her adopted orphan daughter, and one man even slept in the same bed with the little girl, the Crown alleges.

The woman, now 60, who cannot be named because it might identify her daughter, once left the girl alone with one of the sex offenders for a week, prosecutor Melisa Montemurro told a jury Thursday.

The woman has pleaded not guilty to child abandonment, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, failing to provide the necessaries of life, obstructing justice and sex assault when the girl was 9 and 10.

The single mother adopted the girl, at 18 months, in 1997 from an Eastern European orphanage, Montemurro told Ontario Superior Court.

She left her daughter in the care of her aging parents in a small Ontario town while she worked in Toronto, the prosecutor told the court.

Twice the girl was apprehended by child welfare authorities, but nonetheless the mother gained permanent custody in 2003, the jury heard.

In the years that followed, she visited a boyfriend, sometimes accompanied by her daughter, while he was in jail for sex offences against women, the Crown said.

He introduced her to another inmate, Douglas Mackenzie, in custody after being charged with child sex offences, the prosecutor said.

She visited Mackenzie, sometimes with her daughter, and they became friends, the jury was told.

Mackenzie introduced her to two other inmates, Randolph Bartley and Gary Hoare, whom she knew to be in custody for child sex-related offences, Montemurro said.

Bartley was released from custody in 2004.

Over 18 months, the mother periodically allowed him to babysit the girl alone, sometimes on sleepovers at his apartment, the Crown said.

Sometimes she allowed them to sleep in the same bed, while she slept in a different bed in the same room, court heard.

The girl “will tell you about the sexual offences Mr. Bartley committed against her when they were alone in his apartment,” Montemurro said.

Hoare was released from jail in 2005 and placed on probation for child sex assault and making child pornography.

The mother had by then inherited her parents’ home in the small town.

She allowed Hoare to live rent-free in the basement in exchange for renovating the home, the Crown asserted. The mother let Hoare babysit the girl alone for extended periods at the house, including a one-week period in 2006, court heard.

Both Bartley and Hoare have since pleaded guilty to molesting her daughter.

The trial continues Tuesday.

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