SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A former Missouri sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a young girl.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that former Greene County Deputy Joe Newlon admitted that he “messed up” in a statement before he was sentenced Friday. The 58-year-old was accused of having a sexual relationship with a girl, starting when she was 12 years old.

Authorities say the abuse started in January 2015 and continued until March 2016, and Newlon groomed her. Newlon contended that both he and the victim were to blame, alleging that the girl encouraged him.

Authorities say the girl told Child Advocacy Center officials that Newlon once slapped her in the face and pointed a shotgun at her.


Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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