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FORT EDWARD — A Hartford man who walked into a police station one day last February to tell officers he sexually assaulted a teenage girl was sentenced Friday to state prison, after he offered an emotional apology.

James S. Walker, 53, of Pope Hill Road, pleaded guilty last month to felony criminal sexual act for a sexual encounter with a girl under the age of 17 last January.

Police said he was acquainted with the girl, who was too young to legally consent. No injuries were reported.

The teen had not disclosed the assault, but Walker went to one of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office’s stations in early February to disclose that he had sexual contact with the teen. He was charged with felony criminal sexual act and jailed.

Walker pleaded guilty to the criminal sexual act count in Washington County Court, and on Friday told Judge Kelly McKeighan that he was sorry and took “full responsibility” for what occurred. Seemingly near tears, he pointed out that he voluntarily went to police to report what had occurred.

“There are consequences, and I accept whatever comes,” he said. “I was an adult, she was a child.”

Walker said he wanted to plead guilty at his initial arraignment, but his lawyer “shot me a look like, shut up” and a not guilty plea was entered at that point.

He eventually worked out a plea deal, and McKeighan sentenced him to 2.5 years in prison, to be followed by 5 years on parole. He will have to register as a sex offender upon his release.

Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan said he could not recall a recent case in Washington County where a defendant reported the crime himself.

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Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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