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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) – A Philadelphia-area man accused of abusing his wife and two young children for years, even shocking the youngsters with an electric dog collar, has been sentenced to 20 to 40 years after guilty pleas to more than two dozen charges.

Forty-five-year-old Joseph Myhre was sentenced Tuesday on aggravated assault, unlawful restraint and child endangerment counts.

Before sentencing, his wife said she and the now-teenage children protected Myhre and allowed him to appear to live as “a loving husband and father” in their Collegeville home.

In reality, she said they were “often praying for our own deaths in hopes of escape.”

Myhre expressed “profound regret and sorrow” for his actions.

The Montgomery County judge called the abuse “horrific” and told him “You were supposed to protect them, not hurt them.”

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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