MCDOWELLE COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – A Marion man was sentenced on Friday to at least 50 years in prison for sex crimes against children.

Stephen Eric Strange, 51, was convicted in July of two counts of statutory rape of a child by an adult, two counts of statutory sex offenses of a child by an adult and four counts of indecent liberties with a child.

He was sentenced to 50-75 years in state prison.

On February 1, 2022, detectives with McDowell County Sheriff’s Office received a report alleging Strange had sexually abused a child under 13. Detectives investigated the case with the help of Lily’s Place and charged Strange on June 28, 2022.

“These types of cases are extremely sensitive to work and can really take a toll on our detectives and prosecutors.  I appreciate the dedicated effort by Detective Brown and others working this case, along with our DA’s office. Great job to all involved,” said Sheriff Ricky T. Buchanan.