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A former host at the Pattee Canyon campground who pleaded guilty to molesting four young girls has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Wallace Dean "Chris" Christensen, 62, must serve at least 20 years of that sentence without eligibility for parole.

He also must complete phases one and two of the state prison's sex offender treatment program.

Christensen was arrested in Arizona last April, then extradited to Montana, where he was charged with sexually touching four young girls over a period of two years, from 2007 to 2009.

When Christensen pleaded guilty in November, he told Missoula County District Judge John Larson that he touched the girls' private areas and had them touch his.

Two of the girls were 8 at the time and the third was 10. Another girl was younger than 16.

Christensen molested at least some of them in his camper at the Pattee Canyon campground, managed by the Lolo National Forest, court records state.

"I have one drink too many and my hands start to wander," he told authorities, according to the affidavit filed in the case.

The allegations against Christensen came to light when one of the girls told a relative. Others then came forward.

Attorneys in the case had reached an agreement where they'd recommend a sentence of 36 years with 20 suspended. But Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks wasn't surprised when Larson sentenced Christensen more harshly.

"I think in drawing up the agreement we were cognizant of the fact that the judge might hand down something more significant," Marks said Monday.