A former Canyon County deputy sheriff has been ordered to up to 15 years in prison for lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor.

John Sharp, 34, Boise, was ordered Tuesday to serve up to 15 years after pleading guilty to sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl.Sharp, who worked as a deputy for more than five years, was arrested in February. Court documents stated he had molested his female victim intermittently over nine years.

Third District Judge Gerald Weston said he did not view Sharp "as a first-time offender when the crime happened over nine years. People must know they cannot abuse children. . . . Child molesters are incredibly deceptive. They are often the nicest people."

Sharp said recent counseling had been an eye-opener for him, showing him the kind of "anger and hurt I've caused . . . and seeing (her) here made me aware of the mental and physical cruelty I've caused her."