- Associated Press - Friday, June 10, 2016

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (AP) - A Watford City man has been sentenced to serve 18 years in prison for sexually abusing two girls for nearly a decade - a crime that could have landed him in prison for life.

Lance Foreman, 60, pleaded guilty in February to two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a child, after reaching an agreement with prosecutors in which other sex crime charges were dismissed and the prosecutors agreed to recommend a prison sentence of no more than 20 years.

Foreman was sentenced Wednesday during a hearing attended by the victims and their families, the Williston Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1Ukuw4F ).

One of the victims, who is now 16, told a social worker last December that the abuse began when she was 5 and lasted until she was 14. Court records indicate the other girl suffered similar abuse.

“There is no perfect answer today,” McKenzie County prosecutor Charles Neff told Judge Daniel El-Dweek during the hearing. “The perfect solution is to give back the innocence to these two children.”

Defense attorneys said Foreman was abused as a child, though he did not offer that as an excuse for his actions.

Foreman will be on supervised probation for the rest of his life after he is released from prison. He also will have to register as a sex offender.

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Information from: Williston Herald, http://www.willistonherald.com

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