Ronald Fay Schermerhorn (image from Tarrant Co Criminal District Attorney's Office)

Ronald Fay Schermerhorn (image from Tarrant Co Criminal District Attorney’s Office)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A North Texas man has been sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting four young girls, including one who’s mentally disabled.

A Fort Worth jury found Ronald Schermerhorn of Arlington guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14. The 54-year-old was sentenced Wednesday to life without parole and fined $10,000.

Prosecutors say Schermerhorn sexually abused the disabled girl over three years in different locations, including his house, on trips to a popular Texas waterpark and at Joe Pool Lake. The girl, who was a friend of Schermerhorn’s grandchildren, acknowledged the abuse after her mother noticed signs of depression. The mother then notified police.

The three other girls testified during the punishment phase of the trial.

“We are very proud of the four young ladies who came forward and were courageous enough to tell what this man did to them,” said Assistant DA Dawn Ferguson. “We hope this verdict inspires others to do the same.”

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