There is a 10-year-old girl who believes she is broken because she was sexually assaulted by a family friend.
That is what her mother told the judge during Frederick Lyles' sentencing on predatory criminal sexual assault charges Monday.
But Lyle's mother raped him when he was a child, said Lyles' attorney Patrick Sullivan.
"When children are victimized, they grow up to victimize," Sullivan said.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert Haida rejected Lyles' assertion that he was sexually molested by his mother as a reason to lessen his prison sentence.
"If that really did occur, it makes what he did a little more comprehensible, but I refuse to give that weight as a mitigating factor for what he did to that child," Haida said.
Haida sentenced Lyles, 30, of East St. Louis, to 18 years in prison. Lyles must serve 85 percent of his sentence, or 15 years and three months, before he is eligible for release. After he is freed, Lyles must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Lyles was charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault in August 2013. Those charges detailed three instances of sexual contact including digital and penile penetration by Lyles to the girl. In an agreement with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty last month to one count and the other was dismissed.
Assistant State's Attorney Deb Phillips argued Lyles should serve 30 years on the single remaining count.
"This child looked to him to her a protector, not her rapist," Phillips told the judge.
During his statement to Haida, Lyles agreed he tried to do many things to encourage his victim and her siblings.
"I did things to show them that I loved them," Lyles said. "I am sorry for what I did and I do take responsibility for it."
The mother testified the girl can't concentrate in school, cries and pulls her hair out as a result of the sexual assault.
"This was a betrayal on many levels," Phillips said.