A Santa Maria man has pleaded guilty to six felony counts after he was arrested in 2019 on charges related to sexual abuse of an underage girl for more than four years.

George Irwin Hirzel, 49, appeared before Superior Court Judge James Voysey on April 29 and pleaded guilty to three counts of molestation of a child 14 or 15 years old; two counts of sexual intercourse with a child 16 or 17 years old; and one count of continuous sexual molestation of a child with a violent strike offense, according to Deputy District Attorney Scott Donahue. 

Hirzel now is facing 12 years in state prison. He will be formally sentenced on June 7 at Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria. Additionally, he will be required to register as a sex offender. 

Hirzel originally pleaded not guilty on May 10, 2019, to 74 felony charges, including 24 counts of lewd acts with a child between the ages of 14 and 15; 13 counts of sexual intercourse with a minor by someone older than 21; 18 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor; and 17 counts of oral copulation of a person under 18; one count of possession of child pornography; and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child. The charges were upheld on Dec. 3, 2019. 

The six charges reflect the full time span of the sexual exploitation perpetrated on the victim, according to Donahue, and the remaining counts 68 will be dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

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Hirzel was arrested at the Santa Maria Police headquarters, located at 1111 W. Betteravia Road, shortly after 1 a.m. on March 28, 2019, logs show. 

A criminal complaint filed April 30, 2019, by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office claims Hirzel continuously abused an unidentified girl from October 2014 until March 2019, while she was between the ages of 14 and 17.

Paul Greco, Hirzel's attorney, declined to comment.