Man heading to prison for sex crimes against children

WASHINGTON, BEAUFORT COUNTY - A Beaufort County man was sentenced to prison Thursday for committing sex crimes against children dating back more than 50 years.

Merrill Wallace, 74, of Washington, was sentenced to between 12 and 20 years in prison after entering an Alford plea to two counts of sex offense and 21 counts of indecent liberties with a minor, according to the District Attorney's Office.

An Alford plea means the defendant doesn't admit he's guilty, but agrees there is enough evidence for a conviction.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office said Wallace committed the crimes against victims between 7 and 15 years old. The oldest incident happened about 50 years ago.

After release, Wallace will not be allowed within 300 feet of anyone younger than 16, and will need to wear a GPS monitor for the rest of his life, the DA's Office stated.

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