DALLAS COUNTY, Iowa – The adoptive father of a Perry teen investigators say was starved and beaten before her death in May of 2017 is asking that his trial be moved out of Dallas County.
Marc Ray faces several charges related to the death of 16-year-old Sabrina Ray and the abuse of her siblings. Sabrina was found dead at the family’s Perry home and an autopsy showed she weighed just 56-pounds at the time of her death.
A motion filed Thursday claims there has been too much media coverage of Sabrina Ray’s case for Marc Ray to receive a fair trial in Dallas County. The motion also claims coverage of the murder trial of Nicole Finn in Polk County makes it difficult to find impartial jurors because the cases were often linked in media reports about the Iowa Department of Human Services.
Marc Ray and his wife Misty Ray are charged with first degree murder in the case. They also face several charges of child endangerment and kidnapping. In addition, Marc Ray is charged with two counts of sexual abuse related to alleged abuse of a child in the home under the age of 12.
Carla Bousman, Sabrina’s adoptive grandmother, is charged with child endangerment resulting in death, obstruction of justice and three counts of kidnapping.
Adoptive brother Justin Ray had originally been charged with several counts of willful injury and child endangerment, but in February he pleaded guilty to two counts of willful injury and the other charges were dismissed. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. During his plea hearing he admitted to pushing Sabrina down the stairs, kicking her in the head, cutting her chin, and breaking her jaw.
Trials dates have been continued several times for Marc Ray, Misty Ray, and Carla Bousman. There currently isn’t a date set for trial in their cases.
The fifth suspect in the case, Sabrina’s adoptive cousin Josie Bousman, has agreed to testify against the other defendants. Her trial will be held after the others are complete.