BELFAST, Maine — In the first application at trial of what is known as Maine’ s Jessica’ s Law, a Rockland man was sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl.

Micah Boland, 31, was sentenced Thursday in Waldo County Superior Court. Boland had been convicted in a jury-waived trial in February, and Justice Jeffrey Hjelm handed down his sentence after a review of Boland’ s background and criminal history.

Boland had a felony forgery charge on his record, as well as minor crimes.

Assistant District Attorney Eric Walker said the sentencing was the first time Jessica’ s Law was used in Maine after a trial. Like the federal version of Jessica’ s Law, the state sentencing guidelines apply to instances of sexual assault of a person under 12.

There have been other sentences given in Maine under the law, but those were the results of plea agreements, Walker said. The law instructs judges to begin their deliberations with no less than a 20-year sentence, although they have the option of raising or lowering the sentence depending on the defendant’ s background and other factors.

The assault took place in March 2007 in Liberty while Boland was staying with friends. The family left the 4-year-old in Boland’ s care for a short time, and the girl revealed the assault to her mother and grandmother a few days later.

Boland confessed his behavior to police and recordings of those interviews were played in court during the trial. Although Boland did not take the stand in his own defense, the girl, who had reached her fifth birthday by the time of the trial, testified against him.

“It’ s always difficult to go to trial with a 5-year-old but she was a very good witness,” Walker said. He added that he was “extremely satisfied” with the sentence.

Walker said that, because of the nature of the crime, he recommended a 25-year sentence. Camden defense attorney Jeremy Pratt argued for a six-year term, Walker said.

Upon his release, Boland will be placed on lifetime supervision, which means he will essentially be on probation for the rest of his life. Any criminal activity during that period would land him back in jail, Walker said.