A Stafford County man who molested a young girl repeatedly over at least a four-year period will serve a minimum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in August.

William Joseph Bryan, 56, of Stafford pleaded guilty Wednesday in Stafford Circuit Court to three counts of forcible sodomy and two counts of producing child pornography.

The convictions call for a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison, and Bryan could receive more than three life sentences when he is sentenced Aug. 22.

Bryan’s pleas came just before a scheduled two-day jury trial got started. His attorney, Kristin Kadar, informed prosecutor Ryan Frank that Bryan was willing to accept a deal he had rejected earlier.

Frank said he agreed to the deal primarily to keep the victim from having to testify about the things that had been done to her. In exchange for the guilty pleas, Frank dropped a number of related charges.

According to the evidence, Bryan had a relationship with the victim’s family and had frequent access to the child. The date of the offenses range from 2013, when the child was about 7, to 2017.

The victim’s mother eventually caught wind of what had been going on and confronted Bryan. Bryan said he was sorry and pleaded with the mother not to tell his parents.

By the time the woman took the child to the Sheriff’s Office, Bryan had fled to North Carolina. He was extradited back to Virginia and has been in the Rappahannock Regional Jail since July 2018.

Police searched Bryan’s electronics and found overwhelming evidence, Frank said, including more than 20,000 images depicting child pornography. Police also recovered a video that showed Bryan sexually molesting the child and another in which he was heard directing her to perform sex acts on herself.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404 kepps@freelancestar.com