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Ex-officer sentenced to life for sexually assaulting child

Charles Church (Photo: WTVR)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A former police officer in Richmond has been sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting a child.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Judge Walter Stout has confirmed the life sentence for Charles Church.

Church is a 41-year-old Marine Corps veteran who was a 12-year veteran of the city's police force when he was fired in April 2016.

A jury found him guilty of "object sexual penetration" of a child under 13 years of age and indecent exposure. Under state law, a conviction on the charge of object sexual penetration carries a mandatory life sentence.

Defense attorney William Efird III says the sentence "smacks of absurdity."

Church's defense team has asked Stout to overturn the jury's decision. But the judge has upheld the conviction and the sentence of the jury.

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