Lowell Police officer sentenced to at least 12 years for statuto - | WBTV Charlotte

(Gaston County Jail)(Gaston County Jail)

(Gaston County Jail)

Lowell Police officer sentenced to at least 12 years for statutory rape

(Gaston County Jail) (Gaston County Jail)

A former Lowell Police officer was sentenced to at least 12 years in prison after he had an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

According to the Gaston County Clerk of Court, James Blair plead guilty to rape charges and was forced to register as a lifetime sex offender. He was sentenced to 145 to 235 months in prison as a part of the plea.

Blair was arrested back in September of 2016 with one count of statutory rape of a child under 15.

RELATED: Lowell Police officer accused of statutory rape appears in court

In court, District Attorney Locke Bell said Blair's relationship with the girl began when she was only 13 years old.

During the hearing, Bell said text messages between the victim and Blair proved the two had an inappropriate relationship. Blair also reportedly confessed to the victim's mother through a text message that they were in a relationship.?

PREVIOUS: Lowell officer charged with statutory rape, more charges are pending

Lowell's City Manager said Blair was suspended from the department without pay during the investigation. 

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