CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A 27-year-old Charlotte man was sentenced Friday to at least 18 years in prison for raping a fifth grader in 2010.

William Henry Morris pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of indecent liberties with a child.

Mecklenburg Superior Court Judge Yvonne Mims Evans sentenced Morris to a minimum of 18 years and a maximum of 22 years in prison.

The victim was a fifth-grade student in 2010, prosecutors said. A school nurse contacted the girl s mother, recommending that girl see a doctor about abdominal pain.

Prosecutors said the girl then confided to her mother that she d been raped by Morris in January 2010 and again in March 2010.

The mother then took the victim to the emergency room, where they learned the girl was pregnant, prosecutors said. The girl had a miscarriage. She was 11 years old at the time.

Prosecutors said DNA evidence proved that Morris was the father of the miscarried child.

Morris was scheduled to go on trial on Monday. But prosecutors said Morris indicated Friday that he wanted to plead guilty.

Prosecutors said they allowed Morris to plead guilty in hopes of preventing the victim from being further traumatized at a trial.

During Friday s sentencing, Evans ordered that Morris, after his release from prison, register as a sex offender and participate in satellite-based monitoring for the rest of his life.

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