A Wayne County Superior Court judge sentenced a Goldsboro man to prison after the man entered an Alford plea to indecent liberties with a minor.

Superior Court Judge Henry Stevens sentenced Howard Lee Evans Jr., 50, of Seymour Drive, to 16 months minimum and 29 months maximum in prison.

Evans entered an Alford guilty plea on Monday to three counts of indecent liberties with a child. An Alford guilty plea treats defendants as being guilty whether or not the defendant admits guilt.

The court also ordered Evans to pay $1,064.50 in court and attorney fees.

In addition to accepting the Alford plea, the court dismissed a total of 12 other charges filed against Evans, including one count of statutory sex offense with a child younger than age 15, and 11 counts of statutory rape of a child younger than 15 years of age.

Police arrested Evans on April 5, 2018, in connection with a report of sexual assault on a child 15 years of age or younger filed in February 2018, according to the Goldsboro Police Department.

According to a warrant filed for Evans’ arrest, Evans took and attempted to take “immoral, improper and indecent liberties” with a victim who was younger than 16 at the time “for the purpose of arousing and gratifying sexual desire.”

Police initially charged Evans with three felony counts of statutory sex offense with a child younger than 15 and nine felony counts of statutory rape of a 13-,14- or 15-year-old. He was booked at the Wayne County jail under a $500,000 secured bond.

Records indicate Evans took the victim under his wing and acted as a father for a period of time. The victim wrote to the court that she looked up to Evans because she previously did not have a father figure in her life, which made her susceptible to Evans taking advantage of her, she wrote.