Southwest Missouri foster father sentenced for sexual abuse

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) _ A southwest Missouri foster father has been sentenced to 55 years in prison without probation for sexually abusing three children in his care.

The Greene County prosecuting attorney’s office said in a news release that 43-year-old Mark D. Obrien of Republic was sentenced Friday for six counts of first-degree sodomy and a count of abuse of a child.

The Springfield News-Leader ( reports that at the time of the abuse, two of the children were under the age of 12 and the third was 14 years old. The three victims testified about their sexual abuse during a four-day trial in August.

The release said Obrien denied that the abuse occurred and asked for the minimum sentence based on his lack of criminal history and strong family support.