MARTINEZ -- A Contra Costa judge sentenced a former Richmond school aide Tuesday to five years in state prison for molesting nine of his elementary age students.

Before the sentencing, a prosecutor read a letter from the mother of one of Jeffrey Jones' victims, a 9-year-old girl who will "never be the same," her mother wrote.

"Every day she lives with fear of going to school," the mother wrote to the court. "She has depression, she suffers of nightmares, headaches, she has emotional problems at school and at home. She always worries that when Mr. Jones is released, he will cause her pain again."

The 9-year-old was one of nine girls between the ages of 7 and 10 that Jones, 58, molested during the 2010-11 school year at Richmond College Prep Elementary School, a charter school on the city's south side. Most of the molestation was over-the-clothing touching, but some claims included Jones touching girls under their clothes, according to prosecutors.

Letters from a few of the girls to the school's principal about inappropriate touching led to a police investigation.

None of the victims or their families were present at sentencing Tuesday, and Jones, who stood behind a partition, did not speak. As part of Judge Clare Maier's sentencing, the Richmond man must register as a sex offender for life.

The sentence was part of a plea agreement with prosecutors reached June 4 after Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd acts upon children under age 14. A hearing on restitution for the victims is scheduled for Aug. 2.

"Schools are a sanctuary of safety and learning," said deputy district attorney Alison Chandler. "The Richmond Police Department and the DA's office was committed to investigating, prosecuting and obtaining justice for every victim of sexual assault in this case. We hope this will deter other teachers and school employees from victimizing children in our schools in the future."

David DeBolt covers breaking news. Contact him in Richmond at 510-262-2728. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.