Lansing – A Lansing-area man has been sentenced to at least 72 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl he was taking care of at the time.

The sentencing of 51-year-old Anthony Bonner came after an Ingham County jury convicted him of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and other counts for the May 2017 assault.

The Lansing State Journal reports Bonner maintained he was innocent, but Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said she was believed he was someone who shouldn’t be released from prison.

Bonner was arrested after the girl told her mother that “Uncle Anthony” had assaulted her and threatened to hurt her if she told anyone.

Bonner has a Michigan criminal record dating back to 1986 that includes convictions for arson, drug charges and assault with a dangerous weapon.

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