- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) - A southeastern Nebraska man charged with sexually assaulting a 6-year-old child has pleaded guilty in an effort to avoid conviction of more serious charges.

The Beatrice Daily Sun reports (https://bit.ly/1ChrEMq ) 40-year-old Jason R. Schriner, of Beatrice, submitted two Alford guilty pleas Wednesday to reduce his charges to third-degree sexual assault of a child. He was initially charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child, a felony punishable by up to life imprisonment.

In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict him at trial.

Court documents show the young girl says was assaulted by Schriner several times. An attorney for Schriner did not immediately respond to a message for comment.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 18.

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Information from: Beatrice Sun, https://www.beatricedailysun.com

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