A Casper resident who admitted in February that he could be convicted for child abuse was sentenced to a term of imprisonment Thursday morning.

District Judge Catherine Wilking sentenced Hugo Mendoza-Cota to a term of three to seven years in prison on each of two counts of felony child abuse resulting in mental injury, with those terms to be served concurrently.

Mendoza-Cota will also be subject to deportation from the U.S. after he serves the prison term.

Charging papers say Casper police learned in October of the allegations against Mendoza-Cota after one victim told a classmate at Evansville Elementary School. That classmate told her parents, who proceeded to notify school officials.

The victim claimed that Mendoza-Cota would enter her bedroom at night and touch her in a sexual manner. Injury to the victim was reportedly discovered during an examination performed by a sexual assault nurse.

At his February change-of-plea hearing, Mendoza-Cota entered an Alford plea to each of the two charges. An Alford plea, while not an admission of guilt, is an acknowledgement that the state has enough evidence to convince a jury to convict the defendant at trial.

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