EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine issued a statement Wednesday afternoon after Keith Hare, 52, of Cool Valley, Mo., was convicted on two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

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“While nothing can undo the terrible abuse that the victim experienced at the hands of the defendant, the bravery that she and the other young witnesses displayed on the witness stand was nothing short of extraordinary,” Haine said. “Because of their courageous testimony, justice was able to be served in this case.”

Hare was accused of sexually assaulting the then six-year-old victim at a public park in Alton on November 16, 2019. He was found guilty by Circuit Judge Kyle Napp in a bench trial.

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The two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child are Class X felonies, and each carry a sentence of 6 to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. These sentences are non-probational and will run consecutively.

Haine also thanked the Alton Police Department, Child Advocacy Center, State’s Attorney’s victim advocates, and Assistant State’s Attorneys Jacob Harlow and Cara Tegel for their excellent work on this case.

Sentencing will be set at a later date.

Haine pointed out that the Madison County Courthouse Facility dog, Fitz, provided comfort and support to the victim throughout the trial process. Fitz has been specially trained by Duo Dogs in St. Louis to provide comfort to children who are going through the court process.

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