DOVER-FOXCROFT — A 75-year-old Alabama man has been sentenced to eight years in a Maine prison for sexually abusing a young girl he was supposed to be caring for.

Clifford Pendleton was sentenced Tuesday in Piscataquis County Superior Court after pleading guilty earlier this month to several charges, including gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact. He was also sentenced to 12 years of probation and ordered to register as a sex offender.

Authorities say the Daleville, Alabama, man abused the girl in the town of Atkinson between September 2007 and July 2009. Prosecutors say the victim was a relative of Pendleton’s ex-girlfriend.

The girl is now 13.

WABI-TV reports that Pendleton took the stand and said he was “deeply sorry for all of the trouble I’ve caused.”

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