Father Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse on Reduced Charges

Father Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse on Reduced Charges

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A man initially charged with abusing his two sons and sodomizing one has instead pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors in an agreement with prosecutors.

Chay Huynh, 46, was scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial conference Tuesday, but pleaded guilty instead. In exchange for his pleas, the state reduced 10 felonies charges for sodomy, sex abuse and abuse of a child to the two misdemeanors counts of child physical abuse.

The maximum sentence for a class-A misdemeanor is one year in Utah County Jail. Because Huynh had already served two years and one month in jail while waiting for this case to proceed, he was freed Tuesday.

County prosecutor Mariane O'Bryant said that, ideally, Huynh would have received additional punishment, but she wanted the case to be resolved.

"We have kids we need to consider, and a huge time has passed," she said after Tuesday's hearing. "Hopefully, they won't need to deal with him again."

The state charged Huynh in 2001 with beating his 6- and 12-year-old sons, yanking their teeth out with dental floss, locking them in the basement without food or a toilet, forcing the older boy to take showers with him then sodomizing him and threatening to beat him if he told anyone.

"Mr. Huynh has always conceded that there were times that his discipline of his children was inappropriate," defense attorney Dana Facemyer said. "However, he has always maintained there was never any kind of sexual abuse of the children, and after many years it has come to fruition that Mr. Huynh's stance on the issue has been correct."

Huynh's ex-wife, Shelly Huynh, also faces charges for her role in the alleged abuse.

The couple's seven children are all in foster care.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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