BURLINGTON (AP) -- A Vermont man headed to prison for life after being convicted of sexually assaulting and killing his 12-year-old niece is in danger of being killed by other inmates if he’s sent to a regular prison, the man’s lawyers said in court documents.

In a federal court filing, the attorneys for Michael Jacques asked that he serve his sentence at a high-security federal penitentiary in Tuscon, Arizona, that specializes in housing convicted sex offenders.

Jacques, 48, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Burlington.

In addition to the 2008 kidnapping, sexual assault and killing of Brooke Bennett, prosecutors say Jacques, a convicted sex offender in a separate case, sexually assaulted at least four girls and made child pornography involving another girl before killing Brooke.

In a sealed motion by Jacques’ lawyers that was made public after his court appearance and first reported by the Burlington Free Press, his lawyers said a code followed by prison inmates would put Jacques’s life at risk.

"It is the nature of the inmate code that the presence of such an inmate will not be tolerated by fellow inmates," the filing said. "The fact that he murdered a child makes the situation even worse."

Convicted sex offenders at the Tucson penitentiary make up 65 percent of the prison’s population, and so it would be an "appropriate" designation for Jacques, the motion said.

In court Tuesday, Judge William Sessions said he would leave the decision about where Jacques should be incarcerated to the U.


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S. Bureau of Prisons.

Jacques has spent most of his time since his 2008 arrest at federal detention center in New York.