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Associated Press
La. man gets life in rape, molestation of 5 girls
<p>Staff Writer</p>
June 20, 2013

GRETNA, La. (AP) - A 53-year-old Harvey man is getting a life sentence and a $245,000 fine by pleading guilty to raping and molesting five girls aged 2 to 12.

The Times-Picayune ( reports that James Cerniglia also admitted taking videos and more than 1,000 photographs of the abuse.

He pleaded guilty Tuesday in state district court in Jefferson Parish to eight counts of aggravated rape, to sexual batteries, indecent behavior with juveniles and 22 counts of pornography involving juveniles since 2000.

Four girls and their relatives watched the hearing, sometimes weeping. Detectives haven't identified a fifth girl shown in Cerniglia's videos.

The plea agreement means the girls won't have to testify in a trial that might have included videos as evidence.

Judge John Molaison ordered HIV tests, with results given to the victims' families.