EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — An East Hartford man charged with molesting a 6-year-old girl has avoided prison after pleading to lesser charges.

The Journal Inquirer reports (http://bit.ly/2bEWRV0 ) that James Doherty was sentenced to two years of conditional discharge Tuesday after pleading guilty under the Alford doctrine to third-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Conditional discharge is similar to probation.

Pleading under the doctrine means a defendant doesn’t admit guilt, but concedes there’s enough evidence to be convicted.

Prosecutors say Doherty touched the girl inappropriately and caused her pain.

Doherty initially was charged with first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, crimes that carry up to 45 years in prison. He has been free on $150,000 bond since September 2015.

The girl’s mother says her daughter has psychological problems and post-traumatic stress disorder.


Information from: Journal Inquirer, http://www.journalinquirer.com