CANTON, Mich. (FOX 2) - A Canton man learned his punishment for sexually abusing his daughter over the course of a decade as the brave young woman displayed her incredible strength in court Thursday.
"If I can help one person in this terrible chapter in my life it will be worth it," said Caitlin Conklin.
Just days before her 24th birthday, confronted her own father, Larry Conklin, who sexually assaulted her for the past 10 years.
"I have so much weight lifted off now that I don't have to carry this in silence," she said.
The abuse she says started when she was 13-years-old, continued throughout high school when she came home on break from college, and beyond.
"I went through this for 10 years - I didn't know if people would believe me," she said.
Caitlin says she moved back home to Canton after college to save money while she's working as a teacher. But in March, she says it happened again, and she could no longer remain silent.
"I thought this was a life sentence - I know now that it's not," she said.
Inspired by the victims who spoke out against Larry Nassar, she decided to press charges against her father.
"The man that I called dad is the monster that made me feel broken, dirty, unloveable, and ashamed," she said in court. "I hope the years of sickness and suffering that he put me through gave him the pleasure he was so desperately seeking.
"The person who was supposed to protect me from harm and trouble became my predator."
Lawrence Conklin also addressed the court, apologizing to his daughter.
"I hurt you and I frightened you and that's the worst thing a parent can do to a child," he said.
"I don't believe any of it. He put on a good face," she told FOX 2.
But now it's time for her to move on.
"I'm safe and I can finally breathe and everyone else out there is safe as well," she said. "There are certain kids that can't verbalize it and can't express what's happened and for me to be a model to them, and to try to show them it's possible to get past this dark point in your life, and I'm ready to move on and find my happiness."
Conklin was sentenced to 20 to 35 years in prison.