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SYCAMORE, Ill. (AP) - A 73-year-old man sentenced Monday to life in prison in the 1957 slaying of a 7-year-old Illinois girl was unapologetic as he spoke in court before the sentencing.

Jack McCullough turned to face the family and friends of the victim, Maria Ridulph, causing the judge to order him to face the bench.

But McCullough kept turning toward the family as he proclaimed his innocence, saying he couldn't have committed the crime.

The sentencing took place in Sycamore, the small northern Illinois community where the girl was abducted and killed in December 1957.

Before the sentencing, Assistant State's Attorney Victor Escarcida called McCullough "the definition of evil." The prosecutor says McCullough left "a lifetime of emotional wreckage in his wake."

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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