A former North Carolina pastor who admitted to sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl has been sentenced to just 30 days in jail as punishment for the crime.
Eric Dave Jones, 49, pleaded guilty this week in Haywood County Superior Court to a charge of indecent liberties with a child, the Citizen-Times reports.
While the felony charge allows for a prison sentence of nearly two years, Jones will spend only a month behind bars in a county jail.
Jones also must serve 90 days of house arrest and three years of supervised probation, according to court records.
A court order further requires Jones to submit a DNA sample and also register as a sex offender for 30 years.
The identity of the judge who issued the sentence was not immediately clear.
Jones started abusing the minor when she was just 9 years old.
“The root of me telling people is because I know it’s not my fault that he’s done what he’s done and that he is a predator,” said the victim, now 25, according to the newspaper.
Public records indicate that Jones was previously a pastor at a church in western North Carolina before he quit, following his arrest.
The criminal charge stems from a 2002 assault. Because Jones pleaded guilty, he won’t be charged with any other crimes in connection to the case.
The victim told authorities that Jones had been a longtime family friend.
“I’m glad he pleaded guilty,” she told the newspaper. “Because he is. I think I got as much justice as I could. I’ll never get back what he took or what he’s caused, or the time that’s been lost on the just the emotional effect.”
[Featured Image: Haywood County Sheriff’s Office]