Maryland coach, tutor gets 7 years in teenager's sex abuse; attorney says he was 'in love'

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ROCKVILLE, Maryland — A private coach and tutor who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl was sentenced to seven years in prison on Wednesday in Montgomery County court.

Daniel Sirotkin, 31, of Germantown, pleaded guilty in May to sexually abusing a minor, soliciting a minor to produce child pornography, and third-degree sex offense. He had faced up to nine years in prison.

Sirotkin's attorney, Gary Gerstenfield, said he argued for an 18-month prison term for his client. He said that Sirotkin understands now that what he did was wrong, that he doesn't pose a danger to the community, and that he has been in treatment during the year he's been out of custody.

Gerstenfield said Sirotkin isn't a pedophile and molested the victim, now in college, because he fell in love with her.

"He loved her. He felt he had a real connection with her," Gerstenfield said. "It was legally wrong; he just didn't think it was morally wrong."

Sirotkin was the girl's coach and tutor.

Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office spokesman Ramon Korionoff said the sentence sends a strong message that people in positions of trust "will not be allowed to take advantage to young girls who may otherwise look up to them."

Sirotkin's victim said the man molested her between 2011 and 2013, beginning when she was 14. The Associated Press generally does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

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