A former Florida nanny was sentenced to 20 years behind bars after sexually abusing a young boy in her care — beginning when he was just 11 years old — and later having his baby.
Marissa Mowry, 28, received the sentence Wednesday after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to sexual battery charges against her, The Tampa Bay Times reports.
When she was 22, Mowry was hired by a Florida family to serve as a live-in nanny and quickly became an extension of their family.
"I thought of her almost as a second daughter," the victim’s mother, Nadean Campbell, said after the sentence, according to Spectrum Bay News 9.
Mowry had been recommended to the family by a relative who had also used her services.
What Campbell didn’t know was that Mowry had begun having a sexual relationship with her 11-year-old son, who had once loved playing Legos and riding his bike. Authorities said she sexually assaulted the 11-year-old at least 15 times over several months before getting pregnant and having his baby in 2014, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
At the time, Campbell said she believed the father of the baby was Mowry’s boyfriend. But three years after the relationship began, her son came forward, and a DNA test would later prove her young son was the baby’s father.
“We’re talking about a child that was 11,” Campbell said according to the local paper. “Not even a teenager. Eleven.”
The abuse forever altered the course of her son’s life. At 17, he’s now a fully engaged father taking his 5-year-old to school each day before he heads to school himself. It’s also limited his social life and meant he had to put dating on hold because “who wants to date a 17-year-old who has a 5-year-old?” his mother said.
The teen’s family is also helping to raise the young child, but Campbell called her son “really awesome” as a parent and “one of the most amazing dads you’ll ever meet.”
“It has not ruined his life, but it’s changed his life,” she said according to the local paper.
Mowry — a mother of three — was arrested in 2017 on multiple counts of sexual battery of a victim under the age of 12 and sexual battery while in custodial authority.
Campbell now believes the woman who she had once thought of as a surrogate daughter is a predator and urged other parents to be wary of who they let into their homes.
"Know the people your children are around," she said, according to Spectrum News. "Investigate everything — you are your child's biggest advocate."
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