Aging prisoners. Photo via
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A 72-year-old male babysitter convicted of rape more than four decades ago was starting the first day of his sentence of 520 years to life in state prison Thursday for sexually assaulting a 9-year-old Canyon Country girl who was under his care last year.

The sentence that will likely keep the rapist and child sex abuser behind bars for the rest of his life was handed down Wednesday.

John Adam Whitsell was found guilty Oct. 12 of four counts each of lewd act upon a child and oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 or younger, along with one count of forcible oral copulation of a victim under 14, according to Deputy District Attorney Ani Bailey.

Whitsell was babysitting the 9-year-old family member at her home at the time of the abuse between Jan. 1, 2015, and June 30, 2015, according to evidence presented at his trial.

He had served seven years in prison after being convicted in Louisiana in 1971 of aggravated rape in two separate cases, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

—City News Service

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