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Courts

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Man takes 12 years in molestation plea deal

A 36-year-old man pleaded guilty Wednesday to child molesting in exchange for 12 years behind bars.

Matthew S. Shirley, of the 1900 block of Drexel Avenue, was charged in April with six counts of child molesting, ranging from Class C felonies to four Class A felonies.

On Wednesday, prosecutors filed a seventh charge of child molesting, a Class B felony punishable by six to 20 years in prison, to which he pleaded guilty, according to court records. The other six charges will be dismissed at sentencing.

A 14-year-old boy accused Shirley, whom he knew, of molesting him for more than six years.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, Shirley will be sentenced to 20 years, but eight years will be suspended, and he will be put on probation for five years. Twelve years of the sentence will be executed, according to the agreement.

He will be sentenced in August.

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