Eric Rusk Mugshot 11719

A 45-year-old Bethalto agreed to plead guilty to sexually assault three girls at his home.

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- A 45-year-old Bethalto agreed to plead guilty to sexually assault three girls at his home.

Eric Rusk agreed to a plea deal that puts him behind bars for 21 years and he is required to serve 85% of that sentence.

Detectives said the investigation revealed that Rusk sexually abused three girls under the age of 13 beginning in 2011. He was initially charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. In his plea deal, Rusk pleaded guilty to three charges of criminal sexual assault.

The plea deal avoids a trial where the three survivors would have needed to testify. The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office said the plea agreement was reached after talking it over with the survivors and their families.

Rusk must also register as a sex offender.

“I anticipate that with today’s plea, the victims of the case can find closure knowing they will not have to withstand trial and relive such traumatic experiences,” State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said.

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