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Merle Cantrell sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexual abuse of two children


Wednesday, Feb. 10, Merle Fredrick Cantrell, 48, of Madras pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree sex abuse, a Class B felony.

The crimes occurred over the course of two years, between January of 2015 and August of 2017.

Court documents say his victims, two sisters, were under the age of 14. According to the investigator's statement, one of the girls was 6 when the abuse began.

"I asked (the victim) how old she was the first time this happened. (The victim) said she was 6 years old. (The victim) said Mr. Cantrell has told her not to tell her parents."

The girls called Cantrell their uncle and sometimes spent the night at his home.

Cantrell was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison, and is not eligible for any form of reduction in sentence.

After he gets out of prison, Cantrell is to have no contact with his victims, and he must submit to 10 years of post-prison supervision.

Six counts of sexual abuse were dismissed.

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