PROVO — A woman accused of helping her husband sexually and physically abuse their children may turn against her former spouse at the trial.

An attorney for Shelly Huynh told the Deseret News Friday that a plea agreement may be made with prosecutors. In hopes that charges will be dropped against her, Shelly Huynh has offered to testify against Chay Huynh at his trial in 4th District Court next week. Richard Gale, a public-defense attorney who represents Shelly Huynh, said his client has agreed to testify for the prosecution.

Gale said Shelly Huynh will claim that her former husband is responsible for the majority of the allegations against both of them.

Both Chay and Shelly Huynh are charged with six counts of sodomy upon a child and sex abuse of a child, all first-degree felonies. They also face other felony child abuse and neglect charges.

Prosecutors say the couple abused its 6- and 10-year-old sons.

They say the pair yanked the boys' teeth as punishment and locked them in the basement without food, water or access to a toilet.

The two boys also say Shelly and Chay Huynh forced them to perform oral sex. One of the boys said his father pinched his genitals with pliers for discipline.

Both parents deny the accusations and say their sons — who have been placed in foster care — have been coached by their foster parents to make up stories.

Shelly Huynh appeared for the first time in Provo's 4th District Court on Friday since skipping out on a June trial for the child-abuse charges.

At the same time court officials were trying to find her, she was sought by various other police agencies for myriad alleged crimes, including an $80,000 check-fraud case in Weber County.

In court Friday, Shelly Huynh, who has been in jail since she was arrested last month for reportedly trying to buy a multimillion-dollar house with bad checks, asked that she be released on bail.

Huynh said "medical issues" prohibited her from attending her trial. She also said difficulties with a recent pregnancy also prevented her from contacting the court or her probation officer.

Gale said Huynh's hope is to have all charges dropped against her if she decides to testify next week. That's not likely, he says, but hopes for a significant reduction in charges.

Deputy Utah County Attorney Marianne O'Bryant any plea agreement will depend on what information Shelly Huynh can provide in her testimony.

Attorneys for both sides plan on meeting with Shelly Huynh at the jail in the next few days to determine what her testimony will be.


E-MAIL: gfattah@desnews.com