A Casper man was convicted Thursday on child abuse charges stemming from a case in which prosecutors alleged he sexually abused a girl, born in 2002, over the course of several years.

Clinton Michael Carey entered an Alford plea in Natrona County District Court on Thursday to a single child abuse charge. An Alford plea is a type of plea in which a defendant doesn't explicitly admit the accusations against him, but concedes prosecutors have enough evidence for a likely conviction should the case go to trial.

As a part of a plea agreement, prosecutors will ask for a two to six-year prison sentence at most. Carey was initially charged with first-, second- and third-degree sexual abuse of a minor.

One of the factors in child abuse is that Carey caused "substantial mental injury" to the girl.

Assistant Natrona County District Attorney Kevin Taheri used an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case in support of the factual basis behind the Alford plea.

According to the affidavit, a school counselor notified authorities of the possible abuse.

Court documents say during the early morning hours of September 15, 2018, the alleged victim and Carey were in the same room when he allegedly asked her to take off her pants. Carey then allegedly made the victim pose for him.

The affidavit says that when the alleged victim told investigators Carey had a history of sexually abusing her and told police that she recounted incidents that were sexual in nature dating back to when she was 8-years-old.

At the time, the victim said, "she was an oblivious kid," according to the affidavit.

In the affidavit, the alleged victim recalls incidents that occurred during the summer before she entered 6th grade. In those, Carey allegedly inappropriately touched and gawked at the alleged victim.

When the victim tried to cover up, Carey allegedly called her a prude.

He remains free on bond pending a sentencing hearing.

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