A Conway man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexually assaulting his foster child.

Edgar Torrance, 64, was charged with rape and second-degree sexual assault in June 2015. On Monday, he was convicted of second-degree sexual assault.

Torrance entered a plea deal Monday, the day before his three-day jury was scheduled.

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Hugh Finkelstein said he wanted to acknowledge the victim's bravery in coming forward and reporting Torrance's crime.

"We want to thank this brave young girl who had the strength to come forward and tell her mother what happened to her when she was in foster care," he said. "She has been through a lot since this happened and has not only survived, but has thrived."

Finkelstein said he also wanted to thank each department involved in the investigation.

"We would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the Arkansas State Police and the Conway Police Department, especialy Detective Brad Fornash, who was instrumental in getting justice for this little girl."

The trial would have been the first for the Faulkner County courthouse dog to be used in.

A circuit judge ruled in September to allow Barb, the courthouse dog, to accompany the girl, who is now 10 years old.

Courthouse dogs are used as a means to support child victims, helping to create a friendlier environment to ease the pain of talking about uncomfortable, traumatic events.

Background

Torrance was charged with rape and second-degree sexual assault after the 6-year-old girl’s adoptive mother reported in October 2014 that Torrance raped the child while she was in his custody in 2011 and 2012.

Court records state the mother was talking with the girl about the importance of knowing people before riding in their cars and discussing appropriate behavior when the girl said Torrance had engaged in inappropriate behavior with her.

During questioning with a forensics investigator, the girl described his alleged actions in detail.

Torrance denied the allegations and refused a lie detector test when police questioned him.

The girl’s siblings also lived in the home with Torrance at the time but never reported any allegations of abuse.

Documents show that about 20 children have lived with Torrance over the years.

(Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached by email at marisa.hicks@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)