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story.lead_photo.caption Anthony Baumann

BENTONVILLE -- A Rogers man was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl.

The jury deliberated for more than nine hours before finding Anthony Baumann, 62, guilty of second-degree sexual assault.

The jury only deliberated for 30 minutes before recommending Baumann serve 20 years and pay a $15,000 fine.

Baumann also was charged with rape, but the jury didn't have to consider that felony. Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green granted a directed verdict request from the defense, meaning Baumann was acquitted of that charge. He faced from 10 to 40 years or life imprisonment if convicted of rape.

Rogers police began to investigate a complaint concerning Baumann sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl in August 2014. He was arrested Jan. 31, 2015.

The girl, now 13, testified at trial. Prosecutors also presented testimony from a woman who Baumann sexually abused as a child.

Baumann testified at the trial and denied sexually abusing the girl. Baumann said he was hurt and saddened by the allegations against him.

Shane Wilkinson, one of Baumann's attorneys, told jurors his client will be a registered sex offender.

"Today has changed his life, his family's life," Wilkinson told jurors. "There's no question about that."

Carrie Dobbs, deputy prosecutor, urged the jury to impose the maximum sentence -- 20 years.

Baumann must serve more than three years in prison before he will be eligible for parole.

Baumann was taken into custody and taken to the Benton County Jail where he will be held until he's transferred to state prison.

Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith was pleased the jury held Baumann accountable for sexually abusing the girl.

"While we believe that the victim's compelling testimony of rape by the defendant was sufficient to submit the rape charge to the jury for a verdict, we are bound to respect the court's decision to grant directed verdict and dismiss that charge," Smith said.

NW News on 09/30/2017

Print Headline: Rogers man sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexual assault

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