ASHEVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A man was sentenced to prison Monday for rape and child exploitation in Asheville.

According to the Buncombe County District Attorney, Michael Jerome Stewart pleaded guilty Monday 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. 

In March 2019, the victim and her mother reported a sexual assault to the Asheville Police Department.

The police department found evidence including text messages that corroborated the victim’s report.

The victim became pregnant as a result of the assault. The pregnancy was subsequently terminated, according to the district attorney. A paternity test determined that Stewart was the biological father of the fetus.

Stewart was charged with statutory rape of a child, solicitation of a child by computer, and third-degree exploitation of a minor and was taken into custody on May 28, 2020.  

Stewart was sentenced to serve an active term of 14-17 years in prison followed by five years of supervised probation.