Brandon Wayne Watson was convicted of rape of a child and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Brandon Wayne Watson will be 74 years old when he’s eligible for release from prison.

The 49-year-old was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison after being convicted of one count of rape of child and one count of aggravated sexual battery last month.

His victim, who was just 7 years old at the time she was assaulted, testified against him at trial but did not speak at his sentencing hearing.

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Public defender Dave Stockton said Watson “maintains his innocence in this matter, but understands the jury has spoken.”

Watson alleges he was drunk and doesn’t remember sexually assaulting the victim.

“This was a tough case to work on and hear,” said prosecutor Stephanie Draughon. “The victim was brave and impressive. To live through what she lived through, then come forward and tell the story … she lived through a parents’ worst nightmare and faced her abuser. [She] deserves closure, she deserves peace of mind, she deserves to live free of the fear that Mr. Watson will hurt her again. She deserves to live as free as she should as the child she is.”

In a Facebook post that night, District Attorney General Mark Davidson called the victim a hero.

“She’s very impressive and she’s going to do great things,” Draughon continued.

After the hearing was over the victim’s mother walked out of the courtroom with Draughon, saying “That was great!”

Watson will eventually be moved to the custody of the Tennessee Department of Corrections. He will not be eligible for parole.