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A Buffalo man was sentenced to 14 years in prison for sexually abusing two girls for nearly seven years, starting when both victims were 9 years old.

Anthony Chapman, 48, of Schmarbeck Avenue, had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree sexual conduct against a child.

“It’s not that you have taken something that you can give back,” Erie County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case told Chapman.

Case also sentenced Chapman to 15 years of post-release supervision and ordered him to stay away from the victims and family members until 2036.

The sentencing Friday followed a brief but emotional statement by one of the victims, now a teenager, who told the court she spent her childhood “in the dark,” not knowing what would happen next.

She called herself “a survivor” of Chapman, “not a victim” and told the court she forgives him.

The victim’s impassioned statement evoked streams of tears from her family in court as well as Assistant District Attorney Kristi M. Ahlstrom, who later embraced the victim and her family.

“I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult today has been, particularly in light of all you have been through,” Case told the victim. He lauded her for her “bravery and courage in coming forward.”

Chapman, who frequently abused the two girls, pleaded guilty as charged to the two felony counts in February. He faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 12 years in prison and up to 30 years in all.

Chapman told Case he “never thought about my actions” and that he “never meant to hurt anybody.” He said he was a sexual abuse victim as a child “at a time when it was swept under the rug.” He said in court that he was “very, very sorry.”

Chapman drew a five-year probation sentence in 1997 after fondling an 11-year-old girl. Two years later, Chapman was convicted of attempted failure to register as a sex offender and again to three counts of the same crime in 2008. On each charge, Chapman received probation.

email: tpignataro@buffnews.com