Feds: N.Y. Woman Sold Child for Sex to Pay Rent

A woman in New York state sold a young girl to her landlord for sex to cover her overdue rent, federal authorities said.

Linda O'Connor, 46, also sold the girl to strangers twice at a hotel in 2006 and 2007, authorities said. The girl was 12 and 13 at the time of the alleged rapes.

O'Connor, who lives in the upstate New York town of Norwich, was arrested Sunday on federal charges of selling a child and other pornography counts. Assistant U.S. Attorney Miroslav Lovric said she could face up to life in prison.

O'Connor's former landlord, Dean Sacco, 49, of New Jersey, was also charged with having sex with the girl, crossing state lines to have sex with a minor and various pornography charges.

The girl told authorities that O'Connor and Sacco photographed the assaults. Now 14 and in foster care, she told police she faced homelessness and that Sacco threatened to kill her if she did not comply.

The girl told investigators Sacco had sex with her at least five times and that O'Connor took her to a hotel in December 2006 to have sex with a 40-year-old man for $150 while O'Connor watched. O'Connor later took her back to the hotel again to have sex with a second man, the girl said. After the second encounter, O'Connor took the girl Christmas shopping.

O'Connor's lawyer, federal public defender Melissa Tuohey, did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment about the charges.

Attorney Kelly Fischer said he was assigned Monday to represent Sacco in the federal court proceedings and declined to comment until he had studied the case.

O'Connor and Sacco were both being held without bail until a detention hearing on Friday, The Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reported Tuesday.

Sacco was scheduled for trial this week in on rape and nine other state felony charges involving the girl, has been postponed at the request of his defense attorney in that case, said District Attorney Joseph McBride. His lawyer in that case was in court Tuesday and not immediately available for comment.

Lovric said the federal charges "encompass more activity" than the state charges