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WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 20, 2012, 06:01 PM

Husband of daycare owner sentenced to 13 years for sexual abuse

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - 54-year-old Jon Pabody is headed to a Minnesota prison tonight in connection with a disturbing molestation case at his wife's south Moorhead daycare. He admitted to sexually abusing two young girls.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A Clay County courtroom today filled with drama, anger, tears and relief.

54-year-old Jon Pabody is headed to a Minnesota prison tonight in connection with a disturbing molestation case at his wife's south Moorhead daycare. He admitted to sexually abusing two young girls.

In court today, Judge Galen Vaa sentenced Pabody to 13 years in prison but asked the state to take steps to insure Pabody never walks the streets again and is civilly committed.

Amanda, victim’s mother: “On the front it says: Keep sexual predators away. On the back, since he says he was a man of God, it says: Jesus says it would be better to tie a millstone around his neck and drown yourself in the sea than to lead little ones astray.”

Wearing special royal blue "prevent child abuse" T-shirts, the family and friends of one of the child victims, talked of the trauma, mentally and physically, the girls still suffer after the sexual assaults.

Amanda: “He was supposed to be there for our children, not hurt them. And even if he says he was sorry, if he is sorry he would not have done it. It is an unforgivable act.”

In court today, the mothers of the victims talked about their daughter's recovery: “Counseling, psychologist.”

Sobbing, one mother said "It tears my heart because I feel like I failed her. My daughter lost her innocence and trust.”

Melinda, victim’s mother: “She is doing pretty good. Like I said before, she has a form of forgiveness I am not sure I could do.”

You are not a man, you are a monster, another mom said.

“Feel better that I got to tell him what a piece of crap he is. That is all I wanted.”

As the mothers read their victim impact statements, Paybody sat and sobbed. He then stood and said, "I am ashamed, so sorry. I betrayed a sacred trust. I tried to be obedient but I failed."

The child victims had attended Paybody's daycare for several years. He called himself a man of God and while he is the man who taught one of the victims how to sing Jesus Loves Me, he is tonight going to prison for what the judge called, an abhorent, deviant crime.

In court today, Judge Vaa initially had reservations about allowing the young girl victim to stay in court for the hearing for fear of further traumatizing her.

The mother said it was important for her daughter to see Paybody in jail clothes and in chains, headed to prison for years to come.

That victim also wore a T-shirt. It said: "It shouldn't hurt to be a child.”

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