PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A Panama City man was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday.

Darrel Swearingen

Darrel Swearingen, 48, is a six-time convicted felon and was convicted of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child.

It took a jury 17 minutes to find Swearingen guilty of the charges. Circuit Court Judge Timothy Register then imposed the life sentence.

Prosecutors proved that Swearingen committed the offense against the victim in 2010 when he was left alone with her.

During the trial, testimony showed the victim reported the molestation to an adult family member, who did not report it to authorities, the State Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

The Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center was made aware of the allegations in 2020 and began the investigation that led to Swearingen’s arrest.