GREENFIELD — A Greenfield man will spend more than a decade in prison after admitting he forced a girl to engage in sex acts for several years.

A judge ordered that Francisco Mendoza Gaytan, 38, must serve 15 years in an Indiana Department of Correction facility followed by five years on probation.

Mendoza Gaytan pleaded guilty last month to a single Class B felony count of sexual misconduct with a minor – one of five sexual assault related felonies the man faced.

The plea agreement Mendoza Gaytan accepted from prosecutors called for him to serve a maximum sentence of 20 years but gave Hancock County Superior Court 1 Judge Terry Snow the discretion to decide where and how those years would be spent.

Snow heard arguments from prosecutors and Mendoza Gaytan’s defense attorney during a hearing last week before making a final determination about the defendant’s sentence. The victim in the case was given a chance to speak during the hearing, as well, to offer a recommendation on the sentencing, officials said.

The girl in the case came forward in November to tell Greenfield Police Department detectives Mendoza Gaytan had repeatedly assaulted her over a period of five years, court documents state.

The girl said she’d been afraid to come forward about the abuse because she was worried it would cause problems for her family, court documents state. She told detectives she’d finally confided in friends about what was happening, and they encouraged her to seek help.

When confronted by investigators, Mendoza Gaytan declined to speak about the accusations.

During a brief interview with police, he said to officers, “I am going to pay for everything I have done” but refused to say anything further, court documents state.

The plea agreement Mendoza Gaytan accepted was the second filed in the case.

Prosecutors and the man’s defense attorney, Tyler Brant of Shelbyville, originally penned an agreement that called for Mendoza Gaytan to plead guilty to a Class A felony count of child molest and serve a 30-year sentence. But weeks after signing the document, the defendant backed out of the deal, sending the attorneys back into negotiations.

The Class B felony count Mendoza Gaytan pleaded guilty to carries a maximum penalty of 20 years. The man is currently booked in the Hancock County Jail waiting for transfer to a state prison, records show.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.