Mothers with babies go viral in many ways, usually because of their cuteness. This is not one of those stories.
In fact, it’s one that ended with a mother weeping in a North Carolina court as she faced charges that could keep her behind bars for years to come.
She’s now being held on $100,000 bond in a Wake County, North Carolina jail after multiple tips led the Raleigh Police Department to her.
“Authorities were alerted Wednesday by concerned social media users after two videos of the girl smoking sparked outrage,” the Post reported.
“One of the videos showed the hand of an adult off-screen holding the cigarillo to the girl’s lips. The child makes a cooing sound, appears to inhale and lets out a puff of smoke before turning toward the adult with an expressionless look.”
The warrant claims that Lofton had the child inhale marijuana smoke from blunts — essentially joints made with cigars or cigarillos, for our non-pot smoking audience — for two months starting in December of 2017.
The child has been placed with child protective services in Wake County. Lofton has been ordered to have no contact with her daughter.
The video came to widespread notoriety after Rasheed Martin, a man in upstate New York, saw the video on social media and shared it on the internet in hopes of finding the mother behind the sickening crime. In a Wednesday interview, Martin said other users alerted him to Lofton’s profile “so everyone could know exactly who … did that to the poor little girl.”
In court, Ashton broke down in tears as she was charged with child abuse, marijuana possession and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
While prosecutors had argued that recent charges Lofton faced — including simple assault and marijuana possession — warranted a higher bond, her public defender argued those were misdemeanors.
“This is the first … kind of this charge that she has ever looked at,” Caroline Elliot told the court.
Yes, but it’s an especially bad one, particularly given the fact that it’s on the internet and involved a 16-month-old.
If this is the mother in the video, even if this somehow turns out to be a prank, it’s beyond sick. This is clearly an unfit mother.
We can only hope she gets the justice she deserves if she’s guilty — and that her child will find a good home.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.