A former high school principal who fled to California to avoid prosecution was sentenced to prison Monday for sexually assaulting a girl at a West Michigan casino.

Dennis Edwin Love, 68, will serve between two and 15 years in prison for the sexual assault that occurred in July, 2016 at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee. He and the victim were related, investigators say.

Love, the retired principal at Whitehall High School in Muskegon County, was the subject of an extensive search after he fled Michigan to avoid prosecution, investigators said.

Federal agents on March 28 arrested him in Newbury Park, Calif. That came after members of a federal fugitive task force kept an eye on a house in the Los Angeles suburb where Love was believed to be staying. He was arrested leaving the house.

He was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a potential life offense. Love pleaded no contest in July to a reduced charge criminal sexual conduct – third degree.

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