MONTAGUE — A 55-year-old Montague man has received four years in state prison on a child sex crime conviction.
Steven Willard was sentenced in Franklin County Superior Court today to serve four years in state prison, followed by 10 years of probation with strict conditions of probation, including GPS monitoring and no unsupervised contact with children, according to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.
Willard pleaded guilty last week to one count of statutory rape and abuse of a child, and one count of unnatural acts with a child under 16, in connection with incidents that occurred between January 2011 and January 2012 in Montague, according to the DA.
The plea occurred just as the case was about to begin trial.
Willard was first arraigned on the charges in Greenfield District Court in January 2016 after a victim came to the Montague Police Department to report a sexual assault that occurred four years prior, according to a report by Montague Police Detective John Dempsey, who investigated the case. The woman told police that Willard manipulated her into a relationship that turned sexual when she was underage.
He was arraigned on the charges in Superior Court in March 2016.
“The Montague police and the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office wish to acknowledge the courage of the victim in coming forward and seeing the case through to this resolution,” said Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Caleb Weiner, who prosecuted the case.