James Gibson was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison on two gross sexual imposition counts. JESSICA HEFFNER/STAFF

Man sentenced to prison for gross sexual imposition

James Gibson received the maximum penalty of five years in prison on each count. He was order to serve the terms consecutively, and he will have to register as a Tier 2 sex offender upon release.

Gibson maintained his innocence and said "I love (the victim) with all my heart and I would never do anything to hurt her. I only plead guilty because I didn't want to spend life in prison for something I didn't do. I'm going to keep my innocence."

In a letter read aloud in court, the victim, who is now 10, said the abuse started when she was 7. She said Gibson threatened her not to tell her family, but "I don't want him to do it to other little girls, so I am going to be brave and stand up for those other kids."

Gibson's attorney asked for his client to get probation, stating he had never been in trouble before. The assistant prosecuting attorney said that while this was Gibson's first offense, "It wasn't like it was jaywalking."

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