NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A northern New Jersey man convicted in the repeated sexual assaults of a young girl has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray says 41-year-old Jose Rene Cruz of Irvington must serve nearly 13 years before he becomes eligible for parole. He also will have to register as a sex offender and is barred from having any contact with the girl.

Murray says the assaults occurred in Newark over a two-year period, starting when the girl was nine years old.

Cruz was arrested in March 2012 and was convicted last August on first-degree aggravated sexual assault and multiple counts of child endangerment and sexual assault.

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