Marc and Misty Ray Receive Sentences for the Death of Sabrina Ray

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ADEL, Iowa — Marc and Misty Ray will likely never take another breath outside of the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections.

The Perry couple tortured and starved their adoptive daughter, Sabrina Ray, to death in 2017. People packed the Dallas County courtroom to listen to the judge deliver his sentence.

For the first time, Misty Ray took responsibility for the death of her adoptive daughter.

“I would give anything to go back in time and right all those wrongs. It was my responsibility to protect and love our children,” said Misty Ray.

The judge gave Misty and Marc Ray the maximum sentences. Misty will spend life in prison for first-degree kidnapping, plus 20 years for two counts of third-degree kidnapping for confining their other two adopted children with Sabrina. She is not eligible for parole.

Marc will serve a total of 80 years for child endangerment resulting in death and three counts of third-degree kidnapping. He will serve at least 35 years after which he is eligible for parole.

The Rays also held two of their other adopted children captive. Their new foster parent read a victim impact statement to the court.

“You have caused so much trauma that I have flashbacks and nightmares. It has affected me so much that I have wanted to kill myself so many times. I have cut myself. I have run away. I have tried to tie shoe strings around my neck. You did not have to do these things to us. You could have left. You did not have to listen to her,” said the victim impact statement.

Marc and Misty have the option to appeal within 30 days.

So far, four family members have been sent to prison in relation to Sabrina’s death. Josie Bousman will go to trial next, but that has not yet been scheduled.

Channel 13 asked the Department of Human Services (DHS) how much state assistance – or tax payer dollars – the Ray’s received for adopting Sabrina and her two siblings. A DHS spokesperson said that information is not available because of confidentiality provisions in the law. However, daily adoption compensation for a child is $21 and seven cents a day or a little more than $7,690 a year. For three children, that would be nearly $24,000 a year.


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