As detectives continue to investigate a father and son accused of sexually abusing young girls through a daycare business, a woman has come forward to say she was abused by one of the men.
The woman said she was raped by the father 40 years ago after her family trusted him to care for her.
Lynn C. Payne, 72, and his son, Bryan M. Payne, 46, were arrested on July 12 after investigators said the men sexually abused two girls, both under 10, over several years at their Washington County home. Bryan Payne ran a daycare business at his home for friends and neighbors.
We also learned Tuesday that both men worked as school janitors. Lynn Payne worked as a janitor at Riverdale Grade School in Southwest Portland until 2006. Bryan Payne worked as a groundskeeper at Tigard High School in the 1990s.
The woman said she and her sister were being babysat by Lynn Payne at the same house when the abuse happened.
Detectives have spoken with the woman, but the statute of limitations has long run out, so they can’t pursue charges.
The woman said she wants to share her story to empower others to come forward. Investigators believe there are more victims out there.
She said she’s suffered a lifetime of struggles because of the abuse, including eating disorders.
“I still carry extra weight and I know that comes from feeling I have to have extra protection on my body. That’s one thing I want to shed, and I’ve been working hard on that,” she said. “Today, I was thinking maybe I can let go of it now.”
Neighbors said the family has lived in the area for a long time and they owned the land their homes are on before it was subdivided.
Nobody suspected anything wrong was going on inside the home where children were often playing outside.
Signs of abuse
So what can parents do to protect their children from sexual predators?
Psychologist Frank Colistro, who’s not involved in the Payne case, said parents need to keep close tabs on any adults who are around their children.
“Even though these people are daycare providers, offenders can be anybody. They can be your minister. They can be your scoutmaster. They can be your teacher,” he said.
Colistro also recommends parents talk with their kids about what’s appropriate behavior from adults. They recommend parents tell kids that adults aren’t supposed to be alone with them and remind them it’s OK to talk about inappropriate behavior.