NEWARK — A 33-year-old man has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison after being convicted of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

Craig Holifield admitted to assaulting the girl on July 28, 2015, and will be sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray.

Assistant Prosecutor Kathleen Lyons-Boswick said during the sentencing hearing the victim's older sister described how the events of that day still haunt her sister.

"With the help of her family she is working to heal," she said.

Lyons-Boswick added that the long sentence "will go a long way toward protecting the community from this sexual predator."

Holified will serve at least 15 years before he is eligible for parole and will also register as a sex offender under Megan's Law and be under lifetime parole supervision. According to Murray, Holifield has six previous felony convictions, including for robbery, drugs and weapons offenses.

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