By WNEM News Staff. From WNEM.com. Originally posted on May 13th, 2016. Original article.

A 68-year-old southwestern Michigan man who authorities say sexually assaulted a girl for seven years at a rural farm will spend up to 45 years in prison.

The South Bend Tribune reports that Leon Watson of Vandalia was sentenced Friday in Cass County Circuit Court.

A jury convicted Watson in March of multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Watson denied any wrongdoing.

Authorities say the girl was 7 years old when the assaults began in 2007 and about 14 when they ended after she confided to friends and a school counselor. She testified during the trial about the assaults, which authorities say took place at his farm.