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GREAT FALLS — A Montana man has been sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl with special needs.

The Great Falls Tribune reports Cascade County District Judge Greg Pinski handed down the sentence Wednesday for 61-year-old Richard Lee Tome, saying it was the "single harshest sentence" he had ever imposed.

Tome was arrested after the child told a teacher she was attacked at her home in Great Falls in 2016.

A jury found Tome guilty of sexual intercourse without consent in December. He first went to trial in April 2018, but it ended in a mistrial.

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Tome has maintained his claims of innocence.

Prosecutor Matt Robertson told the court that he hasn't "seen any conduct as egregious as this in 25 years of being an attorney."

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