hayden

URBANA, Ill. (WAND) - A former Rantoul man who had convictions and a life sentence for sexually molesting two young girls overturned in an appeal has now pleaded guilty to one of those crimes in exchange for a significantly reduced sentence.

Larry Hayden, 54, pleaded guilty to a single count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child stemming from the April 2015 incident with a little girl, the News Gazette reports.

A second count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child with another girl and a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse were dismissed.

Hayden was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison and given credit for four and a half years already served.

Hayden was charged in July 2015 with sexually molesting one girl in 2012 and another in April 2015, the News Gazette reports. Both children were under the age of 13 and lived in Hayden's Rantoul neighborhood.

The girl from 2012 came forward after hearing about the 2015 accusation.

Hayden appealed his conviction on the basis that be believed he should have had two separate trials on the two counts instead of being tried on both in one trial. The Fourth District Appellate Court agreed. The News Gazette reports the case was sent back to Champaign County in June. 

The judge agreed to accept a guilty plea from Hayden to make sure he would be convicted.

The judge said the victims and their families also agreed they would be satisfied with the plea.