A man who sexually assaulted a 9-year-old girl who came to his apartment to play with a child who also lived there has been sentenced to 72 years in prison, according to the Weld County District Attorney’s Office.

Joseph Covington, 34, was found guilty of sexual assault on a child, kidnapping and enticement of a child for the July 2016 incident.

That day, the victim came to his Greeley apartment looking for a friend. Prosecutors say Covington told her the boy was inside his apartment. He wasn’t, and Covington sexually assaulted her.

He was found guilty by a Weld County jury in November 2016.

“He tried to break her that day,” Weld Chief Deputy District Attorney Thea Carrasco told the judge during sentencing. “And frankly he came pretty darn close. He stole the innocence from this precious child. This little girl’s life will never be the same. But because of her bravery and courage, I have hope that she will be a survivor and not a victim of this man’s horrific crime for the rest of her life.”