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WASHINGTON (AP) — A man who admitted to sexually abusing seventh- and eighth-grade girls while working as a charter-school math teacher in the nation’s capital has been sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison.

News outlets report 33-year-old Robert Leach, of Maryland, told the court Friday that God has since changed his life.

Prosecutors say Leach groomed and abused the children between 2010 and 2013 until he was caught by a parent and fled the country.

Prosecutors say he used promises of love to get one girl to destroy evidence and mislead investigators. Leach later taught in the United Arab Emirates, got married and had a child. He was caught in 2015 in the United Kingdom and extradited to the U.S., where he pleaded guilty in June to child sexual abuse.