A 60-year-old Edinburg man accused of asking a child to take off their clothes for him pleaded to a lesser felony charge last week.

Eric Estep pleaded guilty to cruelty and injuries of children in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Nov. 10.

He was originally charged with taking indecent liberties with a child. A misdemeanor charge of contributing to a delinquency of a minor was dropped.

The circumstances leading to the charge stem from a child telling police in June 2020 that they talked with Estep at their home, according to a previous Northern Virginia Daily article. Estep asked about their virginity and smoking marijuana, court documents stated.

The child told police Estep was intoxicated and began smoking marijuana before asking the child to take off their clothes, court documents state.

In July 2020, police followed up with Estep, who admitted to talking to the child about marijuana, their virginity, and to smoking marijuana in front of the child, court documents show.

Estep was sentenced to 12 months in prison, with all of it suspended, in exchange for the plea. He was also sentenced to two years of supervised probation.

The plea came ahead of a two-day trial that was scheduled to start Monday.

Shenandoah County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Collins stated by email the plea deal came after speaking with the victim.

The amended charge, which is a felony, does not require Estep to register as a sex offender, Collins added. The sentencing guidelines called for a suspended jail sentence for either felony charge, which the agreement follows, Collins stated.

Contact Charles Paullin at cpaullin@nvdaily.com