A man is headed to prison for decades for raping a child.
Keith Smith, of Spruce Street in Williamston, was sentenced Thursday to a minimum of 61 years and a maximum of 76 years behind bars.
A Martin County jury convicted Smith on seven counts, including rape of a 15-year-old and other sex-related charges.
Between September 2005 and November 2006, Smith "engaged in numerous and various sexual acts with the victim at several locations in Williamston," reported a press release.
The victim was 15 when the abuse started. Smith was 42.
In January 2008, the victim reported the crimes to her mother. An investigation began, and police say Smith confessed. Testimony revealed the sexual abuse happened in Martin, Tyrrell and Beaufort counties.
"I have nothing but the highest praise for the law enforcement officers who investigated this case, the jurors who diligently listened to nearly a week's worth of evidence, and especially the victim for her strength in coming forward to report these horrific crimes," said assistant district attorney Lisa Coltrain, who prosecuted Smith.