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PONCA, Neb. -- A Wakefield, Nebraska, man was sentenced Monday to six years in prison for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl at a park.

Jose Gallardo, 53, pleaded guilty in April in Dixon County District Court to third-degree sexual assault and child abuse. District Judge James Kube sentenced Gallardo to three years on each charge and ordered them to be served consecutively, or one after the other.

Charges of kidnapping, first-degree false imprisonment and terroristic threats were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

The Dixon County Sheriff's Office began an investigation in November after receiving a complaint from Gallardo's co-worker, who told authorities that Gallardo had confided in him about the incident.

Gallardo was arrested in December after the girl told authorities that in May or June 2018 she was in Graves Park in Wakefield when Gallardo grabbed her by the arm, put his hand over her mouth and told her not to scream or he would hurt her family. Gallardo led her to his pickup truck, drove her to a corner of the park, pulled her from the pickup and took her behind a concrete wall, where he touched her under her clothes until a car driving toward them startled Gallardo, and the girl was able to run away.

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