LARAMIE (WNE) — A 22-year-old Laramie man was sentenced to 13-15 years imprisonment this week after being convicted of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor.

In November, Zachary Skagen took an Alford plea, a legal term meaning the defendant retains his assertion of innocence while pleading guilty because he acknowledges a jury is likely to convict him.

Skagen was charged with the crime for inflicting penetrative sexual abuse on a 9-year-old girl during at least three separate incidences in July 2018.

In crafting a sentence, Albany County district court Judge Tori Kricken sided entirely with the recommendation of prosecutors, who recommended the 13-15 year sentence.

“We need to send a message to the community that we’re not going to tolerate this behavior and this is going to be the consequence if you conduct yourself in this manner,” said prosecutor Becky Farley, who noted that Skagen “held a position of power over the victim.”

Zachary Skagen was arrested in November 2018 but until Tuesday, he had been out on a partial house arrest after a $25,000 cash bond was posted.

A Laramie Police Department officer conducted an interview with the victim in October 2018 and Zachary Skagen later corroborated the details of the sex abuse.

The first incident of abuse took place in Las Vegas, while the rest occurred in Laramie, according to court documents.

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