Mom Let Son, 7, Be Abused, Police Say
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By LISA A. DAVIS [email protected]
Published: Mar 30, 2006
NEW PORT RICHEY - When the mother first heard a neighbor had raped her 7-year-old son, she confronted the man and threatened to call police.
That's when she stopped acting like a concerned parent and began negotiating, police said Wednesday.
She accepted $600 in hush money and let the neighbor molest her son again, Lt. Jeffrey Harrington said.
"We don't know if this was supposed to be an ongoing arrangement," he said.
An anonymous tip Monday led investigators to the woman's home on Jefferson Street,north of downtown.
The neighbor, Nicholas Quiles, 48, was arrested that day on two counts of capital sexual battery - felony charges that could put him away for life if he's convicted.
After investigating further, detectives arrested the boy's mother Tuesday. The Tampa Tribune is not printing her name to protect the child's identity.
She faces one count each of capital sexual battery and child abuse.
The woman was candid with police about her involvement in the case, Harrington said.
"She wasn't overly upset," he said. "She wasn't cavalier. It wasn't matter-of-fact. It was more conversational."
Harrington said this is the first time he's heard of a parent allegedly selling a child for sex.
"There are definitely oddities to this case," he said. "I hope we never have to investigate anything like this again."
The sexual assaults happened in the first two weeks of February, Harrington said.
The boy first confided to his 11-year-old sister that Quiles did "bad things to him," the girl told a detective.
Her brother later told authorities the sex acts happened when he was alone with the neighbor.
The two children, plus their toddler brother, were taken to a safe place Tuesday. The investigation continues, and so far there's no evidence the woman's daughter and younger son were sexually abused, Harrington said.
Young survivors of such crimes face a long road to recovery, said Lois Mueller, a licensed psychologist who practices in Port Richey.
"It really does set a person up to be a victim for most of their life unless they get treatment," she said. "I think intervention is the key here, real treatment."
Boys and girls handle the aftermath of abuse differently, said Mueller, who was speaking in general and not about a specific case.
When girls grow up, they tend to be more protective, especially of their children, but can end up in relationships with abusers. Boys are more likely than girls to become abusers themselves, the psychologist added.
When a parent is the abuser or knows about the abuse, Mueller said, the child's feelings for the mother or father become confused. Sometimes parents don't intervene because they think they need the abuser psychologically or economically.
In the New Port Richey case, Harrington said, it seems money motivated the unemployed mother, who has a criminal history of prostitution and drug possession.
Neighbors Rob and Jackie Willie said Wednesday the young family moved in less than a year ago, and they have seen the 7-year-old boy go alone to Quiles' apartment.
"I said to myself, 'Why is he going over there?'" Jackie Willie said.
The Willies said they have given the children food and clothes.
Quiles has no record in Florida of previous sexual abuse convictions.
The 30-year-old mother, meanwhile, pleaded no contest to marijuana possession in 1996, and the Pinellas court withheld a formal finding of guilt, records show.
In June, she pleaded no contest to a prostitution charge in Hillsborough County. Again, adjudication was withheld.
The mother and Quiles were being held without bail at the Land O' Lakes jail Wednesday.