Don MacIntyre, the former MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, pleaded guilty to sexual interference involving a child under the age of 16 on Friday.

MacIntyre resigned his seat last February after he was charged with sexual assault and sexual interference.

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty to the second charge in Red Deer Provincial Court on Friday morning. The sexual assault charge is expected to be withdrawn.

According to an agreed statement of facts, the incidents between MacIntyre and the child took place several times between January 2010 and December 2011 in Sylvan Lake.

He also told his victim that God approved of the touching, but when he was confronted about the allegations, he said 'it was part of Satan's plan to destroy child's faith'.

The victim told the court in a vicitim impact statement that she became suicidal after the incident.

"I began to think it was my fault," she said.

The court also heard that MacIntyre has apologized to his victim multiple times, including in a number of letters he sent to her.

MacIntyre was originally elected in 2015 with the Wildrose Party and he joined the newly-formed UCP when the Wildrose and PCs merged in 2017.

The UCP caucus released a statement following the plea saying…

"We hope this disgusting individual faces the full extent of the law in sentencing for his odious crime. Our thoughts remain with the victim and all those affected at this time."

“As was said last year, sexual crimes against children are extremely vile crimes and those found guilty of it deserve only the most severe legal consequences possible.

“We commend the RCMP for their investigation and prosecutors in their pursuit of justice.”

MacIntyre was sentenced to three years, to be served at the Bowden Institution, and will be on the Sex Offender Registry for the next 20 years.

(With files from Tyson Fedor and The Canadian Press)