PARIS — A Peru man was sentenced Thursday in Oxford County Superior Court to 45 months in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing two young girls in 2009. 

Robert F. Skeffington, 65, of 38 Packard Road, pleaded guilty to gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual touching. He was sentenced to 25 years with all but 45 months suspended for the first charge and a concurrent 45-month sentence for the second. 

Skeffington was also sentenced to 18 years of probation and is prohibited from contact with the girls, their families or any child under the age of 16. He is also required to register as a sex offender. 

Skeffington was arrested by Oxford County Sheriff’s Office deputies in September after the girls’ parents reported the abuse to police.

Family members of the girls attended Thursday’s hearing and urged the court to consider a harsher penalty.

In an emotional 20-minute statement to the court, the victims’ father alleged that he had also been sexually, physically and psychologically abused by Skeffington when he was a child. He described Skeffington as an “unrepentant, violently abusive serial pedophile.”

He said Skeffington was a skilled manipulator who used a combination of physical violence and psychological coercion to keep his victims silent and afraid.

He urged active retired Justice Robert Clifford to bring the full force of the law against Skeffington, saying he would be “a danger to others” if he was released. He said two other states may be pursuing charges against Skeffington for similar crimes.

A second adult also claimed she was abused by Skeffington in a letter read to the court. She said she did not come forward to talk about her experience until she learned of Skeffington’s arrest last year. She called Skeffington a “a well-educated, highly-manipulative man” and a “vicious predator.” 

Assistant District Attorney Richard Beauchesne told Justice Clifford he understood the victims’ “anguish and anger” but said a 25-year sentence addressed the “length and breadth” of Skeffington’s “serial abuse.”

An 18-year probation sentence that prevented Skeffington from having any contact with the victims, their families and any children under age 16 was a sufficient deterrent to future abuse, Beauchesne said.

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