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Leo Ellis Parker was sentenced Dec. 12 to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing two children. <a href="http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/news/crime/ph-cc-parker-leo-ellis-sex-abuse-20161208-story.html" target="_blank">Full story here</a>.
Leo Ellis Parker was sentenced Dec. 12 to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing two children. Full story here. (HANDOUT)

A former Mount Airy daycare owner was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing two children.

Leo Ellis Parker, 74, formerly of the 700 block of N. Main Street, was convicted of two counts of sex abuse of a minor after he pleaded guilty on Sept. 26, according to electronic court records.

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Judge Thomas Stansfield sentenced Parker to 20 years, with 10 suspended, for the first count and 20 years, with 10 suspended, for the second count to be served consecutively, according to a news release from the State's Attorney's Office.

Leo Ellis Parker, a 73-year-old Mount Airy man who owned and operated a daycare with his wife, faces up to 50 years in prison for sexually abusing two girls, ages 4 and 6, who were in his care.

Parker and his wife owned and operated a daycare from their homes for about 40 years. He was arrested in December 2015, and it was revealed that he sexually abused a 4-year-old girl and a 6-year-old girl, according to the news release.

The victims said Parker had sexually touched them, made them touch him sexually and showed them pornographic material, according to the release.

Upon his release, Parker is required to register as a sexual offender and will have to register for the remainder of his life. He will also be placed on five years of supervised probation, during which time he may have no contact with the victims or unsupervised contact with minors. He will also be subjected to polygraph testing and will undergo sexual offender treatment, according to the release.

Sexual abuse of a minor is a crime of violence in Maryland, meaning Parker will not be eligible for parole until he serves half of his sentence. He will be about 84 years old when he is up for a chance of parole.

The 73-year-old owner of a Mount Airy day care is being accused of sexually abusing two young girls, and authorities are asking for help in identifying any additional victims.

The investigation involved the Carroll County Advocacy and Investigation Center, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office and Maryland State Police. Amy Ocampo, supervisor of the State's Attorney's Special Victims Unit, prosecuted the case, according to the release.

"Sexually abusing a child is a horrendous crime, especially when parents have entrusted you with their well-being as a daycare owner," State's Attorney Brian DeLeonardo said in the release. "I commend the bravery of these young victims in coming forward and speaking at the sentencing hearing in order to make sure Mr. Parker was sentenced to the next two decades in prison where he will not be able to victimize another child."

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