ABILENE, Texas -

An Abilene man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Thursday for sexually abusing a child.

James McNeill, 37, pleaded guilty to a continuous sexual abuse of a child charge in the 350th District Court Thursday morning in connection to a sexual relationship he had maintained with a girl who was under the age of 14.

He was arrested in February on the charge.

McNeill faced 25 to 99 years in prison for the offense but entered a plea deal instead.

Judge Thomas Wheeler sentenced him to 35 years in prison.

McNeill is also required to register as a sex offender.