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MAN CHARGED WITH SEXUALLY BATTERING GIRL

She told authorities he first molested her in 1996, when she was 7. She fell asleep on the living room floor and awoke to find him touching her, smelling of beer, a Pasco sheriff's report said. Two years later, the report said, the girl again woke from a nap to find the man molesting her. This time, he threatened to hit her if she told her mother. The victim, whom the Sheriff's Office did not identify because of the nature of the charges, broke her silence in September, leading to the arrest Thursday of Sergio C. Marcalo, 41, of Wesley Chapel. He faces a charge of capital sexual battery. Marcalo was held without bail Friday at the Land O'Lakes jail.

NEW PORT RICHEY

Robber given 18 years in prison

John Pedersen's lawyer told the judge his client grew up in an abusive and broken home. He was hooked on drugs and alcohol and suffered from mental problems but has been getting his life together since his arrest in May. Circuit Judge Joe Bulone said he understood all of that - and still sentenced the 18-year-old New Port Richey man on Friday to 12 years in prison for home invasion robbery. The judge cited the brutal nature of the 2005 break-in that left an 83-year-old woman injured. Pedersen was arrested in Michigan this year, extradited back to Pasco, and he pleaded guilty Dec. 1. The judge told Pedersen to continue his rehabilitation in prison. "You'll still be a young man," the judge said. "Just because you got this sentence, you don't give up on life."

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