SANTA ANA (AP) — A former counselor at Orange County’s shelter for neglected and abused youngsters has been sentenced to three years probation for sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

City News Service says Abner Avila of Lake Elsinore was sentenced Monday after recently pleading guilty to one felony count of sexual penetration by a foreign object. He also was ordered to complete 80 hours of community service.

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Authorities say Avila sexually assaulted a 17-year-old he counseled since late 2007 at the Orangewood Children’s Home. He was arrested in May 2008.

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Avila could have faced up to four years and four months in state prison if the case had gone to trial.

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