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NC man sentenced for rape and soliciting a 14-year-old for sex

The District Attorney announced the sentence on Tuesday
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 1:48 PM EDT
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - District Attorney Todd Williams announced that a man was recently sentenced for multiple crimes involving a minor.

Williams said Michael Jerome Stewart pleaded guilty to Statutory Rape of a Child Under the age of 15, Solicitation of a child by Computer and Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.

“I commend the survivor’s family for their support throughout the prosecution,” Williams said. “The outcomes of these cases demonstrate that our justice community will hold people who sexually assault children accountable for their acts.”

According to Williams, DNA evidence, text messages and statements from the victim showed that Steward solicited the 14-year-old victim for sex and then later sexually assaulted her in 2018. Following the assault, Stewartcontinued to communicate with the victim and threatened to kill her if she didn’t send him photos of her unclothed.

“This case hinged on the courage of the survivor in disclosing these traumatic crimes,” said Williams. “I wish this young survivor peace and healing.”

The victim and her mother reported the situation to the Asheville Police Department in 2019. Officers began investigating the case and found evidence to support the victim’s claims. According to Williams, the victim became pregnant from the assault. The pregnancy was terminated, but a paternity test determined that Stewart was the father.

Stewart was eventually charged and taken into custody on May 28, 2020.

The Judge sentenced Stewart to 14 to 17 years in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised probation. Stewart will also have to register as a sex offender and never contact the victim again.