Wilmington man gets up to 54 years in prison for sexually assaulting child

Wilmington man gets up to 54 years in prison for sexually assaulting child
Kelton Lewis (Source: New Hanover County Sheriff's Office)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A Wilmington man will spend decades in prison after he was convicted of multiple child sex crime charges.

Following a week-long trial, a New Hanover County jury found Kelton “Buck” Lewis, 59, guilty of statutory sex offense, attempted statutory sex offense, and three counts of indecent liberties with a child.

Lewis was sentenced to 37-54 years in prison for the crimes. If he is still alive when he is released from prison, Lewis will be required to register as a sex offender.

Prosecutors said Lewis knew the 9-year-old victim and sexually abused the child during the summer of 2018.

“Kelton Lewis will die in prison. This is the only appropriate sentence for a man who has inflicted this amount of harm. Thieves take things, but child molesters steal a childhood,” said District Attorney Ben David.

In 2002, prosecutors said Lewis was charged in New Hanover County with statutory sex offense with a child under 13, crimes against nature, and indecent liberties with a child. The defendant was found not guilty after a jury trial of those charges in 2003.

Lewis was also charged with indecent liberties with a child in 2004, but those charges were dismissed when the victim became unavailable to testify.

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