A man who spent decades putting people away now finds himself behind bars for the next 17 years.

A jury on Wednesday found 77-year-old Clarence Gregory, the former police chief of Spavinaw, guilty of lewd molestation.

Gregory was accused of inappropriately touching two underage girls, who both testified Gregory fondled their breasts and other intimate body parts over several years. He was arrested in the summer of 2014.

After his arrest, Gregory gave a voluntary statement claiming he touched the girls “because he was trying to instruct them on what not to let boys do to them,” an affidavit says.

One of the girls told investigators Gregory began touching her when she was in third grade and the abuse continued for seven years, the affidavit says. A younger girl reportedly said she had been molested by Gregory for three years.

Through out the trial, the defense claimed Gregory was only trying to teach them about their bodies.

Gregory served as chief of police until last summer.

In the past, he also been involved with the town's school district. We interviewed him in 2011 when he was the School Board president. Residents also said he spent many years volunteering as an assistant basketball coach for both boys and girls teams in Spavinaw.

7/25/2014 Related Story: Affidavit: Spavinaw Police Chief Admitted Touching Girls; Town Meeting Canceled

10/28/2015 Related Story: Judge Denies DA's Request To Revoke Spavinaw Police Chief's Bond

7/25/2014 Related Story: Spavinaw Police Chief Out Of Jail; Town In Shock

7/24/2015 Related Story: Spavinaw Police Chief Arrested On Lewd Molestation Complaints