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Sidney man sentenced to 50 years for sexually assaulting 4-year-old girl, recording the attack

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AUGUSTA, Maine — A Sidney man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl he was baby-sitting and recording the attack on his cellphone has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Eric Bard was sentenced Friday in the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.

Bard pleaded guilty in August to 21 charges including rape and sexual exploitation in connection with assaults in 2011 and 2012.

Investigators say 25-year-old Bard befriended the child's mother in 2010 and babysat the girl several times at a series of apartments in Augusta when the sexual abuse occurred. Photos were found on his device of Bard engaging in sexual assaults with the girl.

His attorney says the state is singling out Bard for a lengthier sentence because of the photographs and videos.

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