Georgia man sentenced for child sex abuse in Etowah County

Georgia man sentenced for child sex abuse in Etowah County

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Cecil Benefield. Source: Etowah County Sheriff's Office Cecil Benefield. Source: Etowah County Sheriff's Office
ETOWAH COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

A Georgia man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing a young family member over a seven-year period.

Cecil Lamar Benefield, a 54-year-old man from Alpharetta, Georgia, pleaded guilty to first degree sodomy and sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old. He was sentenced to 25 years for the first charge and 20 years for the second.

Authorities say Benefield molested the victim from the time she was five years old until she was 12. The Etowah County DA says Benefield also told the girl that if she told anyone about the abuse, her father would kill him and end up in prison for life.

Benefield was arrested and charged with the sex abuse crimes in July 2012.

The Etowah County Sheriff's Office also located more of Benefield's victims, dating back to 1987. He is now charged in at least one other Alabama county for "similar incidents involving another child under age 12," according to the DA's office.

Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp says the law doesn't allow early release or parole for anyone convicted of a sexual offense involving a child under the age of 12. Harp believes Benefile will serve his full 25-year sentence.

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