• Five girls, including two witnesses, testified in court
  • Four of them were allegedly forced to play strip poker and a "sex ed" game
  • Another girl said she had been forced to watch a "sex ed" demonstration

A man has been sentenced to 628 years in prison for sexually abusing three children in southwest Missouri.

Daniel Franklin, 62, from rural Joplin, started abusing the primary victim when she was 11 years old. The victim and two sisters who were her friends accused Franklin of molesting them, reported The Joplin Globe. The offenses were committed between 2015-2017.

In April, a jury convicted Franklin of three counts of statutory rape and statutory sodomy and two counts of child molestation. He was also convicted of a single count of enticement and unlawful use of weapons.

The jury recommended that he be sentenced to six terms of 99 years, three of 30 years and a single term of four years, reported AP News.

Jasper County Circuit Court Judge Dean Dankelson followed Juries recommendation Monday, with some sentences to run concurrently and others consecutively.

Five girls, including two witnesses to the crime, testified in court. Four of them told the court that Franklin had forced them to play strip poker and a "sex ed" game after Franklin had provided some of them with alcohol while on "camping trips" to a trailer near Avila. 

Another girl, whose accounts first brought the case to light, said she had been forced to watch "sex ed" demonstrations Franklin had performed with the primary victim, reported The Joplin Globe.

In her victim impact statement, the primary victim stated that the offenses left her with bouts of anxiety, depression, trust issues and night terrors. 

During a previous court hearing, the defense tried to prove Franklin's innocence by citing a botched investigation and saying the five teenagers who testified in the case were lying.

However, Assistant Prosecutor Taylor Haas said the children had no reasons to lie. "If you noticed when the children testified, they didn't want to," he said as per The Joplin Globe.

In her statement to the court, the girl who made the initial disclosure said, "You hurt me in ways I won't ever be able to heal."

"I can't go to sleep without wondering what would have happened if I didn't say anything," she added.

Last week, a 36-year-old Texas man was sentenced to 85 years in prison for breaking into an apartment and sexually assaulting three girls aged 10, 12 and 13 in 2019. 

Handcuffed US (2) A 19-year-old charged with four counts of first-degree murder over beating a 4-year-old to death. In the representational image, a photo taken shows a handcuffed man at the police headquarters in Lille, northern France, November 29, 2018. Photo: Gettyimages/PHILIPPE HUGUEN