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Man sentenced to 20 years for child sex abuse

A Clanton man was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in the Alabama Department of Corrections on sodomy and child sex abuse charges.

Joshua Cole Cleckler, 22, was sentenced by Chilton County Circuit Judge John B. Bush to 20 years in prison for two counts of sodomy in the first degree and one count of sexual abuse of a child less than 12, according to court documents.

Cleckler was arrested in January 2014 and indicted by an August 2014 grand jury.

The victim in the case was 3 years old at the time the abuse occurred at residences near the Hinkle Road area of Chilton County and on Second Avenue S. in Clanton, according to a press release from the 19th Circuit District Attorney’s Office.

According to the sentencing order filed by Bush on Tuesday, Cleckler’s sentence will run concurrent with each count he was found guilty.

Cleckler was given credit for time served, and he will be required to pay all court costs associated with the case.

“Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for my office to prosecute cases of this nature,” District Attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit Randall Houston said in a release. “People who sexually abuse children usually know the victims and can be anyone, even someone the victim used to look up to, such as a neighbor, babysitter, friend, or member of the family. It is imperative caregivers remain vigilant in talking to children about proper touching and that they take pertinent action if they learn of such inappropriate adult behavior.”