CHARLESTON -- A man was sentenced to prison for 20 years after he admitted sexually assaulting a girl in Mattoon more than three years ago.
The guilty plea by Brett A. Henry came a few days before his jury trial on a charge of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child was to begin. Henry, 26, of Charleston, was accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with the girl during 2015.
Henry was arrested in April after the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services notified Mattoon police about the girl's accounts of the sexual assaults, according to records in the case. She said they took place while Henry visited her Mattoon residence in 2015, when she was 7 years old, the records say.
Also according to the case records, Henry admitted to sex acts with the girl when police questioned him. The charge to which he pleaded guilty requires a prison sentence when there's a conviction and the sentencing range is six to 60 years. Henry had been jailed since his arrest and received credit on his sentence for the 11 months he had been in custody.
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Coles County Assistant State's Attorney Tom Bucher, who prosecuted the case, said he consulted with the girl and her family before he agreed to the outcome. The girl was pleased that the case was ending and that Henry would be convicted, and her family approved of the plea agreement, Bucher said.
County Public Defender Anthony Ortega, who represented Henry, was not available for comment on the case.
Henry also received a record of unsuccessfully completing the probation sentence he received in 2016 after pleading in guilty to a charge of failure to register as a sex offender.
In the sexual assault case, Circuit Judge James Glenn accepted the plea agreement that Bucher and Ortega jointly recommended.