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GREAT FALLS — A Montana man convicted of assaulting minors for beating his girlfriend's sons with a belt and rubbing hot sauce in their eyes has been sentenced to prison.

The Great Falls Tribune reports 33-year-old Robert Mathew Holguin Jr. was sentenced Monday in Cascade County District Court to four years in prison with one year suspended for each of the two assault counts.

The sentences will run consecutively. A jury found Holguin guilty in November.

The victims' guardian submitted a statement to the court, saying the boys have difficulty in school and have developed anger issues.

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The statement said they fear that Holguin will be released back into the community.

Holguin claimed in court that his actions were disciplinary and not abusive.

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