An Alton man entered a guilty plea yesterday in Madison County Court for sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13 more than four years ago. 36-year-old Frederick O. Burns was then sentenced to 15 years in prison for the crime that took place over two years beginning in July 2011.
Burns was arrested and charged in May 2013 after the victim told her mother what happened and she contacted police. At the time, Burns was engaged to the child’s mother. Authorities agreed to drop a second count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in exchange for the plea. The case took more than two years to complete due to multiple rounds of mental fitness evaluations for Burns, and other delays. He was found fit to stand trial, and a jury was picked this week just before he entered the guilty plea. He must serve at least 85-percent of his sentence but will get credit for time served.