PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Pawtucket man has been sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting a female under the age of 14 between 2012 and 2018, according to the office of Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha.

Milton Aponte, 43, has been found guilty of first-degree child molestation, three counts of second-degree child molestation, and one count of simple assault.

He was sentenced to life in the Adult Correctional Institutions, plus an additional 20 years to serve for violating a previously imposed sentence, according to the AG’s office.

“Sexual assaults against children at the hands of a ‘trusted’ adult remain an ongoing, devastating problem in Rhode Island – we have charged more than 400 such cases over the last five years alone,” Neronha said in a statement. “Yet we are reminded time and time again that behind that astounding number, in every case, is a child, one child, who has had the courage to come forward and confront someone who has violated them in a devastating way.”

Investigators learned the victim, who was known to Aponte, had been abused multiple times at several locations in Pawtucket between the ages of 8 and 12.

“In this case, a very brave child spoke up, and in doing so has ensured that this defendant will be unable to victimize anyone else ever again,” Neronha continued. “All of us owe her and her family a lasting debt of gratitude.”