A former southwest Missouri sheriff’s deputy has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a girl.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that 58-year-old Joe Newton said he “messed up” before he was sentenced Friday for first-degree attempted statutory rape and two counts of first-degree attempted statutory sodomy. Newton worked as a Greene County sheriff’s deputy in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Prosecutor Nathan Chapman says Netwon blamed what happened on the victim.

Judge Calvin Holden says the abuse started in January 2015 and continued until March 2016, when the girl was around the age of 12. He said there was “a lot of grooming” of the victim.


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