By Bill Toscano
A 35-year-old Granville man has been charged with sexually assaulting a child he was related to and has also been arrested on drug charges in an unrelated case that came to light during the sexual assault investigation.
His wife has also been charged with two misdeamors.
Robert Cann was charged with sexual abuse in the first degree with contact by forcible compulsion, a Class D felony, and with third-degree criminal possession of narcotic drugs with intent to sell, a Class B felony.
Mary Cann, 43, was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17.
The case started when police were notified by Child Protective Services by a 16-year-old that she had been repeatedly abuse by Robert Cann starting when they lived in Whitehall and extending through the time the family lived at two places in Granville. CPS said the girl was in a different part of the state with a male relative.
When police went with two CPS workers to the East Main Street address where the couple lived with four children, all 16 and under, they discovered the house was extremely dirty, had pet feces on the floor and found that the family was washing dishes outside with a house. There was n hot water, and Robert Cann said they were moving to Wells, Vt. One of the rooms smelled so badly, according to the officer, that he “teared up.”
When the CPS workers left, the officer observed Cann yelling at his wife for allowing the CPS workers in. The officer told them that was likely the only reason CPS had not removed the children.
When officers went to return to the house, they found Cann walking up the street with several of the children. He said he was on his way to the pawn shop. Police returned to the home with the children and asked Mary Cann if they could come in.
She told police that various people had been coming into the house to use the bathroom, but that they were all there to see Robert Cann.
Upon investigation, police found hypodermic needles and a spoon recently used to heat up morphine in the bathroom cabinet.
Prior to Cann’s arrest, the victim gave a written statement to counselors at the Warren-Washington CARE Center that she had been repeatedly abuse by Cann after she had rejoined the family after coming out of foster care.