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LLANO — A Llano County district judge sentenced a Granite Shoals man to 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

Judge Allan Garret issued the sentence to 44-year-old Tyrone Stevenson on June 27. Officials said the sentence was part of a plea deal.

“I am thankful we were able to reach a plea agreement as it will save a young, disabled child from re-victimization by rigorous testimony in front of 12 strangers,” said Llano County Assistant District Attorney Stacy Street. “This man is a true predator, searching for victims who are unable to protect themselves from harm. I hope this plea will send a message that such criminal conduct will not be tolerated and will result in a severe punishment and the denial of access to other victims through the defendant’s confinement in prison.”

Officials said the victim was mentally challenged.

According to Llano County Jail records, Stevenson was arrested in February 2011. He has been in jail since that time, officials said.

According to a Llano County District Attorney’s Office press release, Stevenson gained access to the victim at her grandparents’ Llano residence when the man was dating a family member.

Investigators were able to obtain Stevenson’s DNA from the scene of the assault, which officials said helped lead to the plea deal.