REXBURG, Idaho (AP) — An 82-year-old eastern Idaho man convicted of sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. The Post Register reports that Ronald Bird of Rexburg was sentenced Friday 7th District Court and must serve at least seven years before he can be paroled.

Defense attorney Jim Archibald contended any prison sentence would be a death sentence for Bird. Madison County Prosecutor Sid Brown argued putting Bird on probation would ignore the seriousness of the crime.

At his trial in February, Bird testified he wasn't at fault for the 2009 incident because the 4-year-old girl groped him. The jury of four men and eight women disagreed. Seven of Bird's neighbors signed a request for mercy. Archibald says Bird plans to appeal the conviction.