A man from Springfield received a 10-year prison sentence on Thursday for sexually abusing two girls who are related to him.  Scott Blair, 60, pleaded guilty for seven crimes last Oct. 22.

Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson says Blair pleaded guilty for first-degree statutory sodomy, first-degree attempted statutory sodomy, first-degree child molestation, and first-degree attempted child molestation for crimes between 2003 and 2007.  He also pleaded guilty for first-degree statutory sodomy and first-degree child molestation for more crimes in 2011 and 2012.

The 10-year and seven-year prison sentences could have run consecutively but Greene County Circuit Judge Calvin Holden chose to have them all run concurrently.

Patterson says the elder of the two victims was abused on a few different occasions when she was 6 to 8 years old when she visited Blair by herself.   She told investigators that Blair told her to keep the abuse a secret.

The girl kept the defendant’s secret for years until she suspected Blair was then abusing her younger sister. She told her mother that she was concerned about her sister spending time alone at Blair’s home, revealing what had happened to her approximately seven years before.

Both children were interviewed separately at the Child Advocacy Center in Springfield. Each disclosed details of the abuse. Blair then ultimately confessed to the abuse.

At the sentencing hearing on Thursday, prosecutors presented victim impact statements from family members.

The mother of the victims explained the impact of Blair’s crimes on her family.  She said her elder daughter had acted out, including times that the child did not want to visit Blair and his wife.  Although she did not initially understand why her daughter did not want to visit, she learned it was because Blair was abusing her daughter.

In addition to making her own statement, the mother read a letter written by the elder victim, now a teenager, detailing the anger that victim feels towards Blair and the fact that she believed he should be sent to prison. The victims’ father also described the hurt and anger he has experienced.

A sister of Blair told the judge about the times that she had been victimized by Blair while they were children. This was the first time that she had spoken publicly about how Blair sexually abused her. She told the judge that she had not told anyone about the abuse until she was in counseling at age of 35.

Prosecutors recommended a 16-year sentence on the most serious counts, citing punishment and prevention of further crimes as the primary reasons. The defense asked Holden for probation, arguing Blair has a low risk to re-offend.

The judge said he weighed a number of factors. In the determination of whether to grant or deny probation, his said punishment was the most important factor in this case.

After he gets out of prison, Blair must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.