Originally created 11/29/03

Woman pleads guilty to renting young girls out for sex



ALBANY, Ga. -- A woman has pleaded guilty to renting two young girls to a known child molester in his late 60s for up to $30 per half hour.

Mary Helen Harris, 39, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after telling the court she let James Charles Wescott Sr., 68, rent girls in her care for sex between June 2001 and June 2002.

The girls, whose names were not released because of their age, are now 11 and 6. Nurses found that the girls had suffered numerous sex-related injuries.

The case was "the absolutely worst child molestation case I have encountered in 22 years of prosecuting cases," said Assistant District Attorney Kathy Fallin on Tuesday at Harris' sentencing.

Defense attorney Gerald Williams said Harris had a drug problem at the time of the crimes.

Harris showed no emotion as she answered Fallin's questions about the arrangement with Wescott. Harris, who said she used the money to pay rent and utility bills, described how she would grant Wescott a half hour of access to the children for anywhere from $5 to $30.

Wescott would tip the children about $5 afterward - money she would also take, Harris said.

Wescott, who still faces charges, was charged in 1985 with molesting a 14-year-old girl, a 10-year-old girl and a 2-year-old girl during December 1984 and January 1985, court records show.

In that case, Wescott pleaded guilty to molesting the older girls after doctors deemed him mentally competent to stand trial. The case involving the 2-year-old was dismissed in exchange for the guilty pleas.

Wescott initially was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 30 years probation, court records show. That sentence later was modified at the defense's request to 20 years on probation.