AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas man who managed an orphanage in Malawi was sentenced on Tuesday in federal court to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing children in his care, U.S. prosecutors said.

Gerald Campbell, 66, of Odessa, who pleaded guilty in May, could have faced up to life in prison, according to papers filed in federal court in Texas.

Campbell reached a plea agreement and admitted to engaging in sexual acts with eight minors, all of whom were orphans living at the Victory Christian Children’s Home in Malawi between 1997 and 2009, U.S. prosecutors said.

"Campbell admitted that he knew that what he was doing was wrong and that he thought nobody would believe the minors if they reported the abuse," they said in a statement.

He told U.S. investigators he lured children, including one infected with HIV, into his home to sexually abuse them. The home had more amenities than the orphanage and he used that to entice a few of the children to live with him for several months, court papers said.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bill Trott)