A former Wichita Thunder hockey player convicted of sexually abusing a 9-year-old has been ordered to serve 51 years, 8 months to life in prison.
Michael A. Chighisola — a top scorer for the team in the 1995-96 season — was released from the Thunder after he was caught stealing money from teammates a few months into his contract. Prosecutors two years ago charged him with raping and sodomizing the child in 2008 after the abuse allegations surfaced.
Jurors in August returned a guilty verdict against Chighisola, 49, on three counts tied to the sexual assault and acquitted him on four others. He maintains his innocence.
Sedgwick County District Judge Jeffrey Goering imposed the sentence Wednesday, according to court records. The crimes fall under Jessica’s Law, which strengthened penalties for some child sex offenders after its passage in 2006.