ITHACA, N.Y. — A man was sentenced to two years in prison Monday morning after he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl in Dryden in 2014.

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Edward Alexander was sentenced to 2 years in jail, 3 years of post-release supervision, and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. A 10-year order of protection was also issued against him.

The victim declined to speak during the sentencing, but lawyer Wendy Franklin read a statement the girl wrote.

“I was forced to go through things no child my age should ever have to go through…Today I forgive him. I don’t forgive him to make him feel better. I forgive him so that I can have peace and the nightmare will end,” Franklin read.

Alexander was found guilty of two counts of first-degree sexual assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child during a trial in April.

He has maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings.

Alexander, who has been incarcerated on four different occasions and has had substance abuse issues, said those convictions are remnants of his old lifestyle and he moved to Ithaca in 2003 to turn his life around.

“I have been a violent man in the past, but I’m not this violent person the DA is making me out to be,” he said. “I hope your daughter can grow and not have other scars and be a productive member of society.”

Franklin said Alexander’s refusal to take responsibility for his actions and paint himself as a victim, as well as his conviction for the actual crime, should warrant 7 years in prison and 10 years of post-release supervision.

“The defendant will not be able to get into treatment because he maintains he did nothing wrong,” Franklin said, adding that he is a danger to the community.

Alexander’s lawyer Kelly Damm said the claim that Alexander is a danger to the community is unfounded, citing that he has not been in any trouble with the law in the 18-months since the incident. She recommended a sentence that does not include incarceration.

“Maintaining innocence does not equal failure to take responsibility. It’s just that — maintaining innocence,” she said.

She said she plans to file a notice of appeal for Alexander Monday.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.