Judge Shelly Stratman estimated, conservatively, that the then-9-year-old boy was sexually assaulted about 52 times by a man he considered a father figure.

It would have been easier, Stratman said, for the boy to hide in silence all his life. But the boy decided to tell authorities about the horrific abuse so other boys wouldn’t be targeted by the hulking, 6-foot-7, 270-pound Iowa teacher and football coach.

“He’s a very brave young man,” said Stratman, of Douglas County District Court. “It’s admirable.”

Kyle Ewinger, who was found guilty by a jury in January of first-degree sexual assault of a child, was sentenced to 55 to 85 years in prison. He must serve a mandatory 15 years. He will be eligible for parole after 35 years and can be released after 50 years, according to the state’s good time law.

Ewinger sexually assaulted the boy while the child’s mother was away from home and threatened to hurt his mom if the boy said anything. The assaults took place in 2012 and 2013.

The 39-year-old Ewinger is a former elementary school teacher and head football coach at Sioux City (Iowa) West High School. He also faces a sex assault charge in Iowa in connection with a boy he allegedly assaulted in his elementary school classroom.

Although Ewinger’s lawyer said he was nothing like a serial rapist, Stratman found similarities.

“You stole this child’s innocence. You shattered his sense of security,” Stratman said. “You forever manipulated what his sense of normal is.”

The boy and his mother declined to comment. The mother smiled when Stratman denied the defense’s motion for a new trial and cried with joy as the judge pronounced her sentence.

“I’m just glad justice was done,” the boy’s grandfather said afterward.

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Alia Conley covers breaking news, crime, crime trends, the Omaha Police Department and initial court hearings. Follow her on Twitter @aliavalentine. Phone: 402-444-1068.

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