A former caseworker for the Delaware County agency that protects children has been arrested and charged with human trafficking, promoting prostitution, and related offenses.
Candace Talley, 27, of Sicklerville, Camden County, was arrested and charged Thursday. She had been employed as a caseworker at the Delaware County Office of Children and Youth Services for four months in 2017, a spokesperson said Friday.
Talley is accused of exploiting a woman whose children were in foster care, and whose case Talley managed, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office said.
According to the criminal complaint, Talley enlisted women to work as prostitutes, drove them to and from jobs, and received more than 25% of the proceeds of their illegal activity, the District Attorney’s Office said. She is also accused of promising the mother whom she allegedly exploited that she would falsify any drug tests to ensure a favorable recommendation regarding her children’s placement, prosecutors said.
“It is truly horrible, and beyond imagination, that someone who is responsible for ensuring the welfare of children would pressure [a] mother into acts of prostitution for her own personal enrichment, and with the promise of a favorable custody recommendation, as this defendant is charged with doing,” District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said in a news release.
When the Office of Children and Youth Services was informed of the allegations in 2017, it notified the District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division and removed Talley from all her cases, Adrienne Marofsky, communications director for Delaware County, said Friday. The next day, as the county was preparing paperwork to fire Talley, she resigned, Marofsky said.
Talley was arraigned Thursday by Magisterial District Judge Philip S. Turner Jr. on felony charges of human trafficking, promoting prostitution, and participating in a corrupt organization, and misdemeanor charges of coercion and official oppression. She was released on unsecured $25,000 bail with home monitoring.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Feb. 10.
A lawyer listed as representing Talley did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday. Talley could not be reached by phone.