A local teen’s grandmother and the grandmother’s boyfriend were each arrested last week after a police investigation revealed that the grandmother accepted money from her boyfriend in exchange for allowing him to have sexual relations with her young granddaughter.
The child’s mother was also arrested after the investigation uncovered evidence that she knew about the business deal but failed to report it to authorities or to take any other action to stop it.
According to an employee of the Escambia County Detention Center’s booking and release division, 66-year-old Mary Lue Daw, 87-year-old Charles Clarence Stacey, and 37-year-old Melissa Deann Stoker all remained in jail Tuesday, each under a $1 million bond. All three suspects are residents of Atmore.
Jail records show that Daw is charged with one count each of first-degree rape and first-degree human trafficking. Stacey is charged with one count each of first-degree rape, first-degree human trafficking, first-degree promoting prostitution and enticing a child for immoral purposes.
The child’s mother, who is Daw’s daughter-in-law, is charged with one count each of first-degree human trafficking, endangering the welfare of a child and contributing to the dependency of a child.
AL.com, citing court documents, reported that the three are not scheduled for arraignment until November.
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks said during an impromptu July 24 press conference with local media that police are still conducting interviews and gathering evidence in the probe, which also includes personnel from Escambia County Department of Human Resources and Escambia County Child Advocacy Center.
“We started conducting an investigation into allegations of sexual assault of the victim,” Brooks said. “Because of that investigation, we made three arrests. We arrested the victim’s grandmother, the grandmother’s boyfriend and the victim’s mother. The investigation is still ongoing, and no further details will be provided at this time.”
Brooks also asserted that, despite news reports to the contrary, he had not made any prior public statements on the case.
“I don’t know where (the various media outlets) got their information, but they didn’t get it from me,” the police chief said. “I was quoted in several media stories, but until today I have not talked to any media about this case.”
He added that the criminal investigation was one that tugged on the hearts and minds of investigators as much as the general public.
“It’s a real sensitive case, and it has affected us as well,” he said.
Pictured at top, Mary Lue Daw, Charles Clarence Stacey and Melissa Deann Stoker