Cops: Prostitute Mom Used Tot as Drug Prop

Police say a N.Y. woman sold sex and abused drugs in front of her children.

ByABC News
October 2, 2007, 2:29 PM

Oct. 2, 2007 — -- Authorities in New York say a woman arrested for prostitution early Monday morning also snorted cocaine off the stomach of her infant son while breast-feeding him between tricks.

Wendy Cook, a 37-year-old from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was one of five women caught early Monday morning in Schenectady, N.Y., in an undercover sex sting operation.

While the other charges were described as "routine" misdemeanor prostitution, Schenectady police also booked Cook for five counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of first degree reckless endangerment, a felony.

Cook was picked up early Monday morning after offering to perform sex acts on an undercover police officer, department spokesman Brian Kilcullen told ABC News.

Through interviews with others who had interacted with Cook near the time of her arrest, Kilcullen said investigators determined that she had performed oral sex on a pair of customers while her two children, an 8-week-old son and a 5-year-old daughter, were awake in the back seat of her car.

Authorities also allege that Cook used drugs in the car with the children, including smoking crack cocaine and using her son as a tool to ingest cocaine.

"We learned throughout our investigation that while breast-feeding, she snorted cocaine off the stomach of the infant," Kilcullen said.

The children were taken into protective custody by the state's Office of Children and Family Services and were released to family members, Kilcullen said.

Kilcullen called the charges some of the most despicable he's seen in 13 years on the force. "Too frequently, we'll get incidents where children are left alone while parents buy crack," he said, "but nothing as shocking as this."

At a court hearing Tuesday, New York City Court Judge Vince Versaci told Cook, "I have never come across such an atrocity in my life, and that's saying a lot," according to the Albany Times Union.

Versaci set Cook's bail at $15,000 after the woman signed an order that forbidded her from having contact with her two children, the Times Union reported.