A Lewes man has pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old girl last summer.
Frederick Massey, 55, was arrested in June, when police discovered he had been engaged in a sexual relationship with the girl.
The investigation began after the girl told officials at the Division of Family Services about the relationship. Police say the two first met in October 2012, when the victim was working at a kennel.
The two communicated through text messages for several months before Massey kissed the girl on the lips in February, police say.
In March, Massey engaged in sexual acts with the girl in a car parked in a wooded area near Redden Forest.
Police found Massey at his residence June 28 and took him to Troop 4 in Lewes, where he was processed and arraigned on two counts of second-degree rape and three counts of second-degree unlawful sexual contact.
Massey has been held at Sussex Correctional Institution since the arrest.
On Jan. 10, Massey was escorted into a Sussex County Superior Courtroom in handcuffs. He pleaded guilty to third-degree rape.
Judge E. Scott Bradley told Massey the crime carries a minimum sentence of two years in prison and a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Massey must also register as a sex offender, Bradley said.
Bradley ordered a pre-sentence investigation of the crime and said he would sentence Massey at a later date.