Man gets 2 life terms for sexually abusing girl

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A St. Johns County man was sentenced Tuesday to two life terms and 15 years for the sexual abuse of a child.

After a two-day bench trial that began Monday, Circuit Judge J. Michael Traynor found Robert Lee Skipper, 41, guilty as charged of two counts of sexual battery on a person younger than 12, a capital felony, and one count of lewd or lascivious battery sex activity on a person between 12 and 16 years old, a second degree felony.

"The child victim showed remarkable courage when she came forward to report and testify regarding the sexual abuse," State Attorney R.J. Larizza said. "The judge's sentence will ensure that the defendant dies in prison. May the child and her family find comfort and peace in that."

Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Dunton prosecuted Skipper. Dunton said the defendant forced himself on the 11-year-old girl and threatened to kill her and her mother if the girl ever told anyone.

The child confided to her stepmother.