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Earl Sprague, the man convicted of 28 counts of child sexual abuse, received the maximum sentence today in County Court.

The 42-year-old Alabama man will spend 21 years in prison. He was found guilty in December of sexually abusing two children dating back to the late ‘90s.

Sprague’s defense attorney, Frederick Rarick, says Sprague still maintains his innocence, though he made no statement in court today. Rarick told media after sentencing that Sprague’s wife was able to get their children to go along with the storyline after she worried she would lose custody after a drug-fueled break-in.

“These allegations of abuse never came up until June 18, 2011 after Ms. Sprague had burglarized her best friend’s house. She had been on a drug binge for approximately a week. She snapped. She was taken to the hospital. She realized, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to lose my kids,’” he said. “There was evidence in the medical records when she was admitted to the hospital that she had reported recent abuse.”

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman offered a response: “Obviously the jury felt otherwise,” he said. “Twelve jurors decided unanimously beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of all 28 counts of sexual abuse for which he was convicted.”

Sprague was indicted in this sex abuse case on charges he arranged to have a witness against him killed, but the jury did not find him guilty of a solicitation charge.

Sprague has been indicted on more charges, but Friedman declined to detail more about that.

Rarick says he will file a notice of appeal.

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