A Woodbury man is accused of sexually abusing a child for three years.

Patrick David Lucas, 45, faces three first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges involving a minor younger than 13.

Woodbury police opened an investigation after a teen girl told police Lucas started sexually abusing her when she was 12 years old, according to the complaint filed in Washington County District Court.

Officers responded to a report of child sexual abuse April 18, after the girl told her mother Lucas had been molesting her.

The girl told police in an interview that Lucas had threatened her when she told her mother about the alleged abuse. Lucas allegedly told her that if she did not tell her mother she was lying, her mother would kill herself, and he made other threats.

The girl told police that when she asked Lucas after the first assault why he was doing it, he responded, "I love you."

A police search of the girl's phone revealed that Lucas sent her more than 300 text messages since January, all of which "appeared inappropriate" and alluded to sexual contact Lucas had with her.

Police said Lucas also left a photo of his genitals on a tablet for the girl to find.

Lucas remains in custody at the Washington County jail.

If convicted, each charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years and $40,000.