A Norwich man is to spend up to 4 1/2 years in prison for trying to cover up that his boyfriend raped and murdered 11-year-old Jacelyn O’Connor in July 2017.

Photo: New York State Police

37-year-old James Brower was sentenced June 12 after he pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution. Brower’s partner, 34-year-old Tobias Rundstrom-Wooding is serving 20 years to life for raping the little girl and smothering her.

Brower claimed Rundstrom-Wooding wasn’t responsible and, at one point, tried to implicate one or both of his sons, O’Connor’s half brothers.

Authorities were called to Brower’s home late in the morning on July 30, 2017 about an unresponsive child and found O’Connor dead in a bed.  Brower had originally been charged with murder but prosecutors determined there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue that charge at a trial.

Rundstrom Wooding was sentenced last August to 20 years to life in prison for rape and murder.