A Wymore man was sentenced to prison on Wednesday for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

Brenton DeGunia, 34, was sentenced in Gage County District Court to 18-20 years in prison after the victim came forward last year.

Judge Rick Schreiner cited a letter from the victim before pronouncing the sentence, saying she was first assaulted at 3 years old.

“You don’t have a horrible criminal history of convicted offenses,” he said. “What’s striking to the court is the statement of an 11-year-old girl in this presentence investigation who says (DeGunia) has been raping me since I was 3 years old. That’s eight years. I can’t ignore that, and I won’t… My desire, my goal, my intent is to give her time to rebuild her life and get as far away from you as she can.”

DeGunia was initially charged with first-degree sexual assault of a minor, though the charge was reduced. County Attorney Roger Harris said his office agreed to the reduced charge to prevent the victim from having to testify at a trial, and he asked for the maximum sentence in the case. DeGunia was also sentenced to three years in prison for child abuse, with the two sentences running concurrent.

DeGunia was arrested last September after the Wymore Police Department responded to Beatrice Community Hospital regarding an earlier assault.

According to a press release from the department, a mother brought the child to the emergency room and had reported her daughter had been sexually assaulted.

Officers met with the mother and she told them her daughter had been sexually assaulted by a male over the past several years and that the daughter had told a friend about incidents. The friend told the mother about the situation that evening.

The latest incident had taken place that afternoon in a Wymore residence.

Police requested the mother to have the victim interviewed by the Child Advocacy Center in Lincoln.

After the interview and with the assistance from the Nebraska State Patrol, a search warrant was obtained. During the search DeGunia was arrested without incident.

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