JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Craighead County man was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to 2nd degree sexual assault, according to court documents.
Matthew Gifford, 29, had faced charges of rape but plead guilty to the lesser charge. The victim's mother told prosecutors that she did not want her daughter, who was 12 years old at the time of the assault, to relive the moments in a trial setting.
Gifford was charged with rape after having sex with the girl in December, 2012, according to documents filed in March, 2013.
The probable cause affidavit stated that on December 12, 2012, the girl's mother reported that a man had been having sex with her daughter. She gave the officers her daughter's cell phone for a forensic evaluation.
The girl then identified Gifford, who was employed by the Army National Guard. The girl told police that she had went to Gifford's home to have sex with him.
The affidavit stated that Gifford admitted to the crime in a recorded interview in February, 2013.