A Crouse man and former Optimist Club sports coach will spend at least the next 15 years behind bars for raping a young girl, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.
Eddy Shane Heavner, 35, of Gaston Webbs Chapel Road, was sentenced Friday to 180 months to 276 months, according to an agency press release.
A jury convicted him of statutory rape, statutory sexual offense and taking indecent liberties with a minor.
The criminal incidents took place Jan. 8, 2012, at the home of one of the victim’s relatives, deputies said.
At the time of the rape, the victim was 14 and Heavner, 34.
Initially charged in September 2012, the defendant was later released on a $20,000 secured bond.
Deputies said Heavner previously served as a West Lincoln Optimist coach and assistant coach with Cherryville Optimist.
However, the teen victim never participated on any of the defendant’s sports teams, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Heavner was jailed at the county detention center on Friday and transported the following day, deputies said, to the Department of Corrections Central Prison in Raleigh, where he will serve his sentence.
Micah J. Sanderson served as lead prosecutor in the case.