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Child molester gets 12 years in prison

A 36-year-old man was sentenced Thursday in Allen Superior Court to 12 years behind bars on a single count of child molesting.

As part of a plea agreement, Matthew S. Shirley, of the 1900 block of Drexel Avenue, was sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison, but eight of those years were suspended by Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull. He will also serve five years on probation, according to court documents.

Originally charged with six counts of child molesting ranging from Class C to Class A felonies, Shirley pleaded guilty to a seventh charge of child molesting, a Class B felony.

On Wednesday, prosecutors filed a seventh charge of child molesting, a Class B felony punishable by six to 20 years in prison, to which he pleaded guilty, according to court records. The six other charges will be dismissed at sentencing.

A 14-year-old boy accused Shirley, whom he knew, of molesting him for more than six years.