A former nanny was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Wednesday for sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy over the course of several months and later giving birth to his child.
Marissa Mowry worked as a live-in nanny for the victim’s family in 2014 when she was 22.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Mowry assaulted the young boy at least 15 times throughout the duration of her employment, unbeknownst to his parents. When Mowry became pregnant, giving birth to a baby in the fall of that same year, it was assumed that her boyfriend had fathered the child.
However, three years after the assaults first took place, the boy told his mother, Nadean Campbell, about Mowry’s abuse. Campbell then alerted the police, who discovered through a DNA test that the now 17-year-old is the child’s father.
The nanny originally denied the allegations, claiming that the boy had been the one to force himself on her. However, police later recorded a phone conversation between Mowry and the victim in which she admitted that this was untrue.
She was arrested in 2017 and faced life in prison. In exchange for a lighter sentence, Mowry agreed to plead guilty.
“We don’t think about females being predators, usually,” the boy’s mother said. “I didn’t and it cost me.”
Though Mowry’s public defender made mention of the now 28-year-old’s troubled childhood, years of suffered abuse, homelessness and absent parents, Campbell replied that a difficult past cannot possibly justify the former nanny’s actions.
“We’re talking about a child that was 11,” she said. “Not even a teenager. Eleven.”
The family had accepted Mowry into their home, treating her like one of their own children, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The victim’s parents said they had thought of her as a daughter.
Their son is now raising the child, as a teenage father. He takes his son with him to school in the morning and plays with him in the afternoons, devoting the hours that would have otherwise been spent in after school activities to the responsibilities of being a dad.
“It has not ruined his life, but it’s changed his life,” his mother told the Times. He no longer has as much time for friends, sports or other normal high school extracurriculars.
In spite of the significant impact of raising his son, the teen has evidently embraced fatherhood, working hard to raise his son as a single parent, with the support of his family.
“He has turned into one of the most amazing dads you’ll ever meet,” Campbell told the Tampa Bay Times.
The devastated mother emphasized how important it is for parents to stay vigilant about the people they trust to look after their kids.
“Know the people your children are around. Investigate everything,” she said. “You are your child’s biggest advocate.”
This September, Mowry pleaded guilty to several counts of sexual battery of a child and agreed to a deal that will put her behind bars for the next 20 years. During Wednesday’s sentencing, she was officially designated a sexual predator.
The former nanny was sentenced to an additional 10 years of sex offender probation to follow her release from prison.
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