A Moncks Corner man was sentenced Thursday for sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl and exposing her to HIV, prosecutors said.
Jefferey Lance Whitsett, 27, was sentenced to 55 years in prison.
Authorities learned of the abuse after the victim told her mother that Whitsett had been assaulting her for months, 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said in a statement.
The girl's underwear was found weeks later in Whitsett's motorcycle shop, and experts discovered his DNA on the evidence.
Whitsett was found guilty on six counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and one count of exposing another to the virus that causes AIDS.
Testimony that helped prompt his conviction included accounts from experts, the girl's family and the victim herself.
Circuit Judge Kristi Harrington sentenced Whitsett to 45 years and 10 years on the charges, respectively.
The sexual conduct charge could have carried between 25 years to life behind bars.
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