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Minot man gets 37 years for sexually abusing girl

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A Minot man accused of sexually abusing a girl over a five-year span has been sentenced to 37 years in prison.

Forty-three-year-old Chad Kleespie pleaded guilty in February to a felony charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child. He was sentenced Tuesday, and could have faced life in prison without parole.

KXMC-TV reports Kleespie will be eligible for probation after 27 years. However, if he is released from prison he will be on supervised probation for the rest of his life.

Court documents show Kleespie also was ordered to pay nearly $1,400 in restitution, as well as $1,550 in fees.

Authorities say the abuse began when the girl was 9 years old and continued until she was 14. Kleespie blames alcoholism and says he doesn't remember abusing the girl.