A Bel Air insurance agent was sentenced Thursday to one year in prison for sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl.
Kevin A. Raber, 29, was sentenced in Harford Circuit Court after pleading guilty to one count of third-degree sexual offense for fondling the girl, now 14.
Additional charges of second-degree rape and two counts of second-degree sexual offense were dropped as part of a plea agreement. Had he been convicted of all charges, Raber would have faced a maximum sentence of 70 years in jail.
The incidents occurred while Raber was a guest at the Bel Air home of the girl's parents between January and March 1989, court records state.
"I can't overlook the fact this was not a single incident," Judge William O. Carr said at the sentencing. "This was an on-going scheme. This happened many times over several months. You knew all along it was a criminal activity."
Judge Carr sentenced Raber to 10 years in prison, but suspended all but one year of the sentence. The defendant also must receive counseling. He will be on probation for five years.
Raber, of the 1800 block of Glendale Road, will be eligible for the county's work-release and home-monitoring program.
Before being sentenced, Raber asked the girl's parents -- who sat behind the prosecutor's table -- for forgiveness.
"Nobody is to blame but me," Raber told the judge.
Looking at the parents, Raber said with his voice cracking with emotion: "I've lost my partner. I've lost my friends. I know they can't forget it, but I hope they can forgive me.
"What I've been through has been hell," he said. "I know it's been hell for them. It will never, ever happen again."
John Kelly, Raber's attorney, asked the judge to give his client probation before judgment, meaning that the defendant's criminal record would be cleared once he met all the terms of his probation.
Assistant State's Attorney M. Elizabeth Bowen opposed the request, saying Raber should be punished with a prison term for the harm he caused the girl.
"It is an experience that has changed her life forever," she said. "I think that is something . . . there should be some accounting for."