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Cape woman allegedly allowed sex assaults of children at her home for 20 years

The owner of a Cape May County blueberry farm where a little girl was allegedly raped is now accused of allowing her sons to sexually assault at least four other children there for nearly two decades.
Carol Allen and her sons Vincent and Willis Jr. face charges of first-degree sexual assault and child endangerment in the case with victims dating to at least 2001.
“What happens in this house, stays in this house,” she allegedly told a boy who disclosed to school officials that he had been assaulted.
These are additional charges for Willis Allen Jr., 30, who was arrested last year after he and Ryan Roach were charged with the sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl.
Roach allegedly began molesting the girl when he and her mother, Teresa Millard, lived together.
The assaults continued after an unrelated Division of Child Protection and Permanency case required Millard to have supervised visits, according to the earlier charges.
Those visits happened at the Belleplain blueberry farm, where Millard is now accused of acting as “lookout,” while Roach and Willis Allen Jr. assaulted the girl.
Carol Allen was supposed to have sight and sound supervision over the visits.
But now, the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office alleges the 78-year-old woman allowed at least four children to be continually assaulted at the home, all while they were supposed to be under her supervised protection.
One girl was adopted by Carol Allen and alleged she was assaulted by all four of the woman’s adopted and biological sons.
The now-adult victim told investigators that when she disclosed the abuse to her adopted mother, she was told, “It’s a lie that will ruin this family” and that if people found out, the girl would “be considered used goods,” according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Anytime a child tried to disclose the abuse to someone outside, they were removed from school and got into trouble, Assistant Prosecutor Bryna Batten told the judge.
Two of the children were brought into the home through church contacts, Batten said.
Carol Allen “allowed other children to come into that house knowing what her sons were capable of doing,” Batten said, calling the woman a “master manipulator when it comes to the victims in that home.”
“All of this happened under her watch and under her care and on her property,” she added.
Allen is charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child and three counts for first-degree aggravated sexual assault.
“Let’s be honest, she’s not getting convicted of those charges,” defense attorney Rob Johnson said of the sexual assaults during Carol Allen’s detention hearing Tuesday.
“The only fact against her is that, at some point in time, she’s told and she says she doesn’t believe it,” Johnson said of the alleged assaults. “Even if this event is true, it doesn’t raise Carol Allen’s participation level above endangering.”
Superior Court Judge Joseph Levin agreed the evidence is “very weak” on the first-degree charges against the woman.
While he upheld the “very, very, very low standard” for probable cause, Levin said the defense could make a motion to have those charges dropped.
He released Allen with conditions, including that she must check in weekly, cannot be around children and is not allowed to leave Cape May County.
Levin cited the woman’s age, health issues, lack of prior record, community ties and character letters in backing her release.
He also released Willis Allen Jr., who had his third detention hearing Tuesday.

Willis Allen Jr.

Levin cited Allen Jr.’s success in following the conditions of his previous releases under two other judges.
The first was last year, after his arrest in the case he shares with Roach. He then was arrested again after additional conspiracy charges in that case.
Allen is now accused of several sexual assaults, including one victim who said they were twice weekly for at least two years.
At one point, she said he held a butcher knife to her neck and told her “that he could take her any time he wanted,” Batten said.
Levin said he may have made a different decision than the previous judges concerning Allen Jr.’s release, but that since the defendant already proved he could abide by conditions of release, the judge let him back out.
It was also disclosed at the detention hearing that Willis Allen was first charged with assault around 2007 or 2008, before he turned 18. Those charges were later dismissed by a prosecutor who is now Allen’s defense attorney.
Attorney Meg Hoerner said she did not recall the case, and questioned why the state didn’t bring up conflict concerns when she first represented Allen at his second detention hearing in May.
Because it was a different alleged victim in that case, the judge said there is currently no conflict. That issue could be revisited if the woman in that case is used in this one.
Vincent Allen, who lives in Mount Laurel already had been released to an in-patient program, according to information released in court. But it was not clear what kind of program it is or when he was released.

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