Ashcraft, 46, was convicted last month by a La Porte Circuit Court jury of two counts of Class B felony sexual misconduct with a minor; Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor and Class D felony child seduction.
LaPorte County Deputy Prosecutor Chris Fronk recommended a 30-year prison sentence while defense attorney Steve Snyder suggested a less than 10-year sentence on work release.
Ashcraft again professed his innocence and told the court he will appeal.
Testimony at trial revealed the girl and Ashcraft met in 2007 when she was playing at the Dunes Operation Center, a volleyball club he owns near Rolling Prairie.
Ashcraft was assistant junior volleyball coach at LaPorte High School when the girl made the JV squad in 2008 as a freshman.
The victim testified physical contact between she and Ashcraft began in his truck parked outside the volleyball club in 2008.
She said they would later arrange to meet near her house and he would drive her to secluded locations to have sex.
Prior to sentencing, the victim said she was blinded by Ashcraft and withdrew from friends and school functions to further their relationship.
She said she also lied to her parents to cover up and continue their union.
‘’My life completely revolved around Bob. He was my everything. My best friend,’’ she said.
Her father told the court Ashcraft ‘’had a hold’’ on his daughter who toward the end of their relationship promised she would stay away from the man only to keep seeing him behind his back.
‘’This man took my daughter and turned her into somebody I didn’t know any more,’’ he said.
Fronk said an elevated sentence was deserved because Ashcraft used his position of trust over the girl to prey then control her.
He also cited the testimony of a clinical psychologist who feels the victim could suffer lifelong consequences.
Potential harmful effects include difficulty maintaining lasting relationships and low self esteem.
Afterward, Snyder said several pieces of evidence that could have proven Ashcraft’s innocence were not allowed to be submitted at trial and will come up for a challenge on appeal.
‘’There were evidentiary rulings that we very clearly take strong exception to and I think on appeal you’re going to see some matters reversed. That’s what I believe,’’ said Snyder.
LaPorte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi said no decision has been made on whether to charge any school administrators who might have known about the relationship and tried covering it up.
Szilagyi said he and his staff are still evaluating all of the evidence and that decision should be made by the end of the month
He said any charges would likely be a misdemeanor.
‘’We’re just looking at what we got and what we have to prove and go from there,’’ said Szilagyi.