By Associated Press - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts man has been sent to prison for four years following his conviction on sex crimes involving a child.

Prosecutors say 55-year-old Steven Willard, of Montague, was also sentenced Monday in Franklin Superior Court to 10 years of probation and ordered to have no unsupervised contact with children.

Willard pleaded guilty last week to statutory rape and abuse of a child and unnatural acts with a child under 16, in connection with assaults that occurred between January 2011 and January 2012.

The plea came just as his trial was about to start.

The victim came forward with the allegations in January 2016.

The woman told police that Willard manipulated her into a relationship that turned sexual when she was underage.

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