An Iowa judge sentenced a man and woman to decades behind bars on kidnapping charges related to the abuse and confinement of three girls that resulted in the starvation death of one young victim.
According to the Des Moines Register, 41-year-old Misty Ray and 43-year-old Marc Ray were ordered to serve life without parole and up to 80 years, respectively, for their roles in abuse of the girls.
It was while the man and woman were on a trip with their biological sons at Disney World that their adopted daughters were left alone and Sabrina Ray — the oldest — starved to death.
“Sabrina’s sisters were forced to watch her slowly and agonizingly die,” said Judge Terry Rickers during the sentencing hearing.
The 16-year-old girl weighed just 56 pounds at the time of her death and was described in police reports as extremely malnourished.
All of the girls were physically abused, confined to dark rooms, and forced to eat the same foods, including oatmeal. Statements written by the surviving girls were reported read into the court record as Misty and Marc Ray sat with their heads down.
“You caused so much trauma that I have flashbacks and nightmares,” wrote one girl. “I have cut myself; I have run away; I have tried to tie shoestrings around my neck.”
One of the statements included a reference to the solace one survivor takes in known her tormentors will be where they belong.
“Now it’s your turn to be locked up,” she wrote.
During a court hearing last month, Marc Ray emotionally recounted his role in Sabrina’s death, particularly not seeking medical attention for her.
He did not make a public statement at the time of his sentencing, but Misty Ray took full responsibility and went on to apologize to him and the surviving children, as reported by KCCI.
“I would give anything to go back in time and right all those wrongs,” she said.
Officials indicate the 12- and 14-year-old girls — along with a boy who had been living in the home — are in good homes and are adapting well to life outside of the Ray’s torturous environment.
In addition to the prison sentences, both Marc and Misty Ray were ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $150,000 to Sabrina’s relatives.
Justin Ray, the victim’s brother, has been sentenced to a decade behind bars after he pleaded guilty to two counts of willful injury.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Carla Bousman, Sabrina’s adoptive grandmother, pleaded guilty to a range of criminal counts including child endangerment and neglect and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The victim’s cousin allegedly also took part in confining and starving the girl and faces charges including child endangerment causing death, obstructing justice, and kidnapping.
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