BURKE COUNTY, N.C. -- A Conover man will spend at least 24 years in prison after pleading guilty to child sex crimes.

According to the Catawba County Justice Center, 27-year-old Joshua Lee Lipford will serve between 24 and 39 years in prison after entering a guilty plea on three counts of statutory rape of a 13, 14, or 15 year-old by a defendant at least six years older and four counts of statutory sex offense with a victim 13, 14 or 15-years-old by a defendant at least six years older.

As part of his plea agreement, Lipford agreed to assist the prosecution in the cases against his two co-defendants, one of whom has already entered a guilty plea in their case.