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CROWN POINT — A Gary man was sentenced Monday to 17 years in prison for possessing cocaine, molesting a 12-year-old girl and hitting a police K-9 after officers were called to the girl's home.

Jermaine E. Beck, 38, pleaded guilty in May in two separate cases.

Lake Criminal Court Judge Salvador Vasquez accepted Beck's plea agreement Monday and sentenced him to 16 years on felony charges of child molesting and striking a law enforcement animal and a consecutive one-year sentence on a felony count of possession of cocaine, online court records show.

Beck was arrested Oct. 1 after Gary police responded for the third time to the girl's home because of confrontations between Beck and the girl's parents, court records said.

Beck, who was known to the family, allegedly told the girl's mother he planned to drive her to a store Sept. 30. Instead, he parked in front of a home and forced the girl to have sex in the car.

The girl's mother met Beck and her daughter at the store and ordered the girl out of the car. Beck allegedly yelled out, "I didn't do nothing to your daughter!"

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Police were called to the girl's home three times the following day. On the third call, Beck sped off when an officer approached and crashed a short distance away.

He ran into a wooded area, and the officer released a K-9 after Beck didn't comply with orders to stop. Beck punched and kicked the dog and attempted to choke it with its own collar after falling near railroad tracks.

The cocaine charge stemmed from allegations Beck sold about 3 grams of crack cocaine to a confidential informant March 14, 2018, at a Merrillville hotel, records show.

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