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— A Pea Ridge man was sentenced to 6 years in prison for sexually abusing a girl.

Jonathan Wade Woodward, 25, pleaded guilty Tuesday, Aug. 11, to sexual assault in the second degree, a class B felony. He was originally charged with rape but agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge under a plea agreement his attorney Billy Bob Webb reached with Chief Deputy Prosecutor Stuart Cearley.

Woodward was arrested Sept. 28, 2007.

His arrest came after a 15-year-old girl reported that Woodward began sexually abusing her when she was 7 and the abuse ended three or four years later, according to court documents.

Circuit Judge David Clinger accepted the plea agreement and Woodward's guilty plea.

Woodward was sentenced to 6 years in prison and after his release he must abide by a suspended sentence for 10 years.

Normally, he would have to serve at least a year in prison before he is eligible for parole, but Woodward will probably remain in prison longer since he must complete the prison's sex offender treatment program.

He will be required to register as a sex offender and he must pay $1,170 in court associated costs.

Woodward was ordered not to have any unsupervised contact with individuals under 18.

Community, Pages 6 on 08/19/2009

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