PARIS, Maine — A Peru man has been sentenced to spend nearly four years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing two young sisters.

Robert Skeffington pleaded guilty to gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual touching Thursday in Oxford County Superior Court for abusing the girls in 2009 when they were both under 12.

He was sentenced to 25 years with all but 45 months suspended for the first charge and a concurrent 45-month sentence for the second. The 65-year-old Skeffington was also sentenced to 18 years of probation.

He was arrested in September after the victims’ parents reported the abuse.

The Sun Journal reports that the girls’ father in court called Skeffington a skilled manipulator who used physical violence and psychological coercion to keep his victims silent and afraid.

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