Columbia man sentenced to 35 years in sexual abuse case

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A Columbia man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday for sexually abusing his stepdaughter.

The names of the victim and the accused are being withheld by the Missourian to protect the identity of the child.

In September, a jury found the 38-year-old man guilty of two counts of first-degree statutory rape of a person under 14, two counts of first-degree statutory sodomy of a person under 14 and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. The girl was between ages 7-10 when the crimes occurred.

At the sentencing hearing before Circuit Court Judge Jodie Asel, he was sentenced to a total of 35 years on the charges.

The child testified in her stepfather's trial, describing the morning when she told her school counselor about the sexual abuse she had suffered.

In a video of a forensic interview of the child by a forensic interviewer Ashton Eibel, the child described how he forced her to have sex with him and watch pornographic videos.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Tracy Gonzalez argued in the trial that a child of the victim’s age wouldn’t have been able to describe the sexual acts she was forced to perform in such detail.

Gonzalez said the child now lives with her biological father.

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.

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