Man sentenced more than 21 years in prison for sex offense against girlfriend’s 15-year-old daughter

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Kenneth Lateef McKnight
Kenneth Lateef McKnight

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — A Wilmington man was convicted in Brunswick County Superior Court on Monday of a sex offense against his girlfriend’s 15-year-old daughter.

Kenneth Lateef McKnight, 37, of Wilmington, was found guilty of statutory sex offense, sex offense in a parental role and indecent liberties with a child following a bench trial that lasted for more than a week, according to District Attorney Jon David.

McKnight was accused of committing sexual offenses against the 15-year-old girl in February 2015, according to an arrest warrant. He was arrested by Leland police and charged in the case in March 2015.

McKnight was on federal probation at the time of his arrest. He was sentenced to 112 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release for distributing heroin in December 2005, according to federal court records. McKnight pleaded guilty to distributing more than 100 grams of heroin. Six other federal charges stemming from the July 2004 incident were dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ola M. Lewis sentenced McKnight to 254 to 365 months in the North Carolina Department of Corrections. The judge also ordered McKnight to register as a sex offender for 30 years upon his release from prison.

Assistant District Attorneys Jamie Turnage and Lee Bollinger prosecuted the case for the state. Attorney Bryan Wilson represented McKnight in the case.