BANGOR – A Nebraska man convicted of sexually abusing an 8-year-old relative in Maine nearly a quarter century ago has been ordered to serve five years in prison.

WZON-AM reported that a Maine superior court judge in Bangor on Friday imposed the sentence on Clarence Cote of Nemaha, Neb. The 65-year-old man was convicted in January of abusing the girl.

Cote’s attorney, who vowed to appeal, had questioned why the state took so long to prosecute when it knew of the allegations in 1994. He said the state had lost key evidence.

Prosecutors say they had trouble finding Cote after he moved to Nebraska.