From: Traci Steele on,new-mcgee0604.article

Convicted child molester and former Robbins, Ill., police officer James
McGee was sentenced Thursday to 40 years in prison.

McGee, 48, of East Chicago, who was convicted during a jury trial March
19 after four hours of deliberations, maintained his innocence and vowed
to appeal.

The jury found McGee had molested the girl repeatedly over several years.

The girl's uncle, who raised her, said the crime has torn apart the
family and still seems hard to comprehend.

McGee's wife, Carolyn, said her husband worked at one time as a Robbins
police officer and at Union Tank Car in East Chicago before the plant

After he was charged in July, he was suspended without pay from his
police job, causing more financial pressure for the family, which
includes three children, ages 20, 18 and 15.

"He would not do that to a child," Carolyn McGee said. "He was proven
guilty, but inside my heart I know he's not."

Defense attorney John Cantrell noted his client had no prior
convictions, was a hard-working family man and U.S. Army veteran.

Deputy prosecutor Aleksandra Dimitrijevic asked Lake Superior Court
Judge Clarence Murray to impose an aggravated sentence, noting the girl
was molested repeatedly for six years. She said McGee violated a
position of trust not only in the family, but in the community. "He put
on a uniform and pinned a badge on his chest. He sought out the victim,
preyed upon the victim, preyed upon her age," Dimitrijevic said.

Some of McGee's family members said the truth didn't come out during the
trial, but Murray said he listened carefully to the evidence. "Sir, I
believe that you committed these crimes," Murray said. "Because of your
position in the community and relationship with this family you didn't
think it would ever come out, but it did."

McGee faced a maximum 50-year sentence on two of the child molesting