CROWN POINT | A 37-year-old East Chicago man accused of repeated sexual encounters with a girl was sentenced Monday to 50 years in prison.
Javier Maldonado was convicted last month on two counts of child molesting.
Maldonado was accused of having sexual relations with a girl in East Chicago, Hammond and Illinois starting in 2004, when she was 7 years old.
The girl told police that in five encounters, Maldonado would wait for her when she got off the school bus, drive her to an alley to have relations and return her to the school before classes began.
A witness to one of the encounters told police Maldonado claimed the girl wanted to be a queen, a reference to being a female member of the Latin Kings street gang.
Authorities allege Maldonado to be a member of the Latin Kings street gang.