BELFAST, Maine — A former foster parent has been sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 9-year-old child.

Lawrence D. Oxton, 71, will spend the rest of his life on probation, according to documents filed at a Waldo County court.

The documents said the abuse came to light after the child disclosed to a caregiver that something had happened to her. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Belfast Police Department interviewed Oxton in mid-March 2015, but at that time he denied the inappropriate contact had taken place and no charges were brought against him.

However, Oxton went to the Belfast Police Department in May and told the sergeant on duty he was there to turn himself in. After admitting the accusations were true, Oxton, a master electrician who had been a foster parent for 15 years, was charged with gross sexual assault, a class A felony, and unlawful sexual contact, a Class B felony. A Class A felony carries a penalty of as much as 30 years imprisonment and $50,000 fine, while a Class B felony has a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

He was sentenced last week to nine years in prison on the charge of gross sexual assault and five years, served concurrently, on the charge of unlawful sexual contact.