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Father gets 2 1/2 years for sex abuse

A man convicted of having sexual activity with his 13-year-old daughter was sentenced Friday to 2{ years in prison, followed by six months' probation. He also was acquitted of three counts.

Circuit Judge Bonnie S. Newton ordered that the man have no contact with his daughter, who is now 16. The 40-year-old man, who was in jail almost two years awaiting trial, will get credit for time served.

The girl, whose promiscuity, drug use and alcohol use were brought out at trial to the dismay of victim advocates and prosecutors, said she felt vilified.

The jury deliberated three hours before reaching a verdict. One of the jurors said the girl's character did not come into play, but her credibility did. It was the girl's conflicting statements to authorities that swayed their decision. The juror saw no reason for the girl's behavior to be brought up and said she plans to write to the victim to reassure her.

"We felt he had probably done it," said Charlotte Bentley. "But, according to the law, the state had not fully proven the case. We agonized over that decision."

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