MEDIA, Pa. (CBS) — A woman who formerly worked in the foster care system is facing shocking charges. Candace Talley is accused of human trafficking, pressuring a mother in a tough situation into prostitution.
“This is about as bad as you can find in a case of human trafficking,” District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said.
A 27-year-old woman, a former Delaware County employee who worked for Children and Youth Services, is at the center of it all.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Stollsteimer said. “It’s horrific.”
Stollsteimer says Talley used her power as a foster care case manager to exploit a mother whose children were in the system, pressuring that mom into prostitution.
“One of the pieces of leverage to get her to do that is using access to her children or the promise of access to getting her children back,” Stollsteimer said.
According to the criminal complaint, Talley worked at the Eddystone Child Youth Services office.
In 2017, detectives say Talley used government records and reports, learning that her victim had a history of prostitution and drug use. Talley then approached the mother, saying she could make $1,000 per day working as a prostitute, according to police.
Court records show Talley implied she could remove the victim’s children from foster care and would ensure urine drug tests would come back clean by using another person’s sample.
“It’s a very vulnerable population,” Stollsteimer said. “This woman is trying to come in and get services from the county and trying to reconnect with her children, fell completely prey under the power of this woman who had all the power in the world.”
No one answered the door at Talley’s home in Sicklerville, New Jersey.
She was arrested on Thursday morning and released on a $25,000 unsecured bond with home monitoring.
Talley is charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors, including promoting prostitution, trafficking in individuals, coercion and official oppression.
“The fact that this was a county employee and one of the pieces of leverage was her desire to see her children, to be reconnected, to get her children out of foster care, that makes the allegations here even more disturbing,” Stollsteimer said.
Investigators say an investigation is ongoing and there could be more arrests.