LIMA — The man who repeatedly raped a child for more than a decade likely will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Lane Bricker Sr., 61, was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison for six counts of rape, six counts of sexual battery and two counts of gross sexual imposition.
Bricker met the girl, now an adult, at a young age and began molesting her. That was part of a grooming process that led to years of raping her, said Terri Kohlrieser, an assistant Allen County prosecutor.
“This is a classic case of grooming. You start with smaller things and work your way up,” she said.
Bricker denied grooming the child but said he was guilty of raping her along with the other crimes. He said if he was released today he would not have anything to do with her.
“I’m not an animal. I was wrong,” he said.
Kohlrieser said the girl’s age and circumstances kept her from moving away until she became an adult. She no longer lives in Lima and is in counseling.
Bricker came onto the radar of Allen County Children Services years ago but he would leave town and could not be located, preventing an investigation from taking place. Eventually he would end up back in Lima, Kohlrieser said.
He also had a child molestation case in 1990 for which he did prison time in Indiana, officials said.
The victim did not appear in court but Assistant Allen County Prosecutor Jennifer King, who has talked to her dozens of times in the past year, made a tearful statement on her behalf.
“She really wants you to know what you have done to her,” King said. “The tears I cry, right now, are tears for her.”
The girl has met up with a family that is loving and caring. She also is thankful she can now live free of fear that Bricker put her through most of her life, King said.
“You may have taken away her innocence. You may have taken away her security. You may have taken her peace of mind. You may have taken her youth, but she will overcome,” King said.