A Natrona County man is heading to prison for having sex with a minor.

Fifty-one year old Joseph Sterling was sentenced to serve up to eight years in prison, after entering an Alford plea to one count of third degree sexual assault of a minor.

Investigators say in July 2011, the 15-year old victim was visiting Sterling, who gave her some alcohol.

The victim claimed that a short time later, Sterling raped her.

Sterling told investigators he was not sure how the victim got the alcohol, and that they did have sex, but it was the victim who instigated it.

An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but it acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction.