CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A man who sexually assaulted a University of Virginia student in 1984 and apologized to her two decades later as part of the Alcoholics Anonymous program was sentenced to 18 months in prison Thursday. William Beebe, 42, pleaded guilty in November to one count of aggravated sexual battery for his attack on Liz Seccuro. Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge Edward Hogshire ordered a 10-year prison sentence with all but 18 months suspended, as long as Beebe performs 500 hours of community service related to issues of sexual assault and alcohol abuse on college campuses. Prosecutors had recommended two years. “I’m not trying to excuse my behavior, but I was a different person then,” said Beebe, of Las Vegas, Nev. “I have a purpose, and that gives life meaning. I didn’t have that then.” After the hearing, Seccuro shared a long hug with her husband. Outside court, she said she thought the sentence was “very fair.” “It’s always hard to ask a survivor what you think is enough,” she said. The case was revived in 2005 after Beebe wrote Seccuro a letter of apology in an attempt to make amends for the assault as part of AA’s recovery program. The program’s ninth step calls on alcoholics to make amends to those they have harmed – unless doing so would cause further injury. In an exchange of e-mails that ensued, Beebe wrote: “I want to make clear that I’m not intentionally minimizing the fact of having raped you. I did.” Seccuro, 40, of Greenwich, Conn., was given a drink at a party that made her feel strange, and she later passed out, leaving her memory hazy. She said she vividly recalls being attacked by Beebe, but always had a vague impression she’d been assaulted by additional members of the fraternity. Evidence later surfaced that indicated Seccuro was attacked by more than one person that night, and Beebe was offered a plea bargain.. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!