Family members from both sides spoke at the marathon sentencing hearing. The girl's grandmother testified on Friday that two people are supposed to choose who they give themselves to, while her granddaughter did not. She wished Sanders would not have the choice of his next partner "when the steel doors shut."
Sanders pleaded guilty Jan. 6 to molesting the girl in his home between June 1 and Nov. 30 in 2014. The girl was age 10 at the time her mother and grandmother reported the alleged molesting to police in December 2014, court documents said.
Sanders' family members testified one by one that he was not guilty of the offense, despite his guilty plea. After repeated admonishments to speak only of his character, family members continued to say he was not a child molester.
The mother of his two youngest children told Allen Superior Court Judge John Surbeck, "You're ruining children's lives."
Defense attorney Michelle Kraus said, "He's the best father to his two children, who will suffer and not understand the significance. His family cannot believe he's guilty."
Sanders who stood and read a letter through tears said, "I stand a broken-hearted man, but I continue to stand."
He continued to sob and hang his head down as Surbeck delivered the sentence.