A Rainsville funeral home director avoided prison after pleading guilty to raping a 12-year-old girl 25 years ago.
A judge sentenced Keary Chandler to five years in prison on Thursday.
That sentence was suspended, and Chandler will serve it on probation. He'll also have to pay a fine and restitution.
The judge said this was a very tough case to impose sentence.
He said Chandler had led a productive life for 25 years after the incident.
Prosecutors said they should not send a message to the community that justice delayed is justice denied.
Besides his sentence, Chandler was also ordered to pay 2500 restitution and $1,000 for the victim's counseling.
The Rainsville funeral home director pleaded guilty in may to second degree rape.
Prosecutors told the court Chandler was the girl's Sunday School teacher when he was 24 years old.
There were sexual relations on more than one occasion, one of which took place in a hearse with a corpse in the back.
But the defense had argued Chandler had taken responsibility for his actions with his guilty plea and was sorry for what he did.
Chandler then apologized to the victim in open court.
Chandler must now register as a sex offender.
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