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Man gets up to 45 years for raping girl

July 28, 2010 at 4:37 PM

ERIE, Pa., July 28 (UPI) -- A Western Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to up to 45 years in prison for fathering a child with a 12-year-old girl.

James DiNicola, 34, pleaded guilty to the crime. But at his sentencing hearing Tuesday, he claimed to be a good father, the Erie Times- News reported.

An Erie County judge imposed a sentence of 21 years and nine months to 45 years.

Prosecutors said DiNicola told his young victim to say that a schoolmate was the father of her child and that he threatened her with a gun when her mother found out.

The girl, now 14, told authorities DiNicola began the sexual assaults when she was 11. She had a son in December 2008 and is now living with him in the Dominican Republic.

"Her childhood is gone. Her whole life has been changed," Chief Deputy District Attorney Beth Hirz said.

Judge Shad Connelly gave DiNicola some credit for sparing the teen having to testify at trial. But he agreed that DiNicola took no real responsibility for his actions in his statement at sentencing.

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