LEBANON, Va. (WJHL) – A Strasburg, Virginia man is facing four years in prison for a charge of soliciting a minor, well above the state’s sentencing guidelines.

According to a press release from Russell County Commonwealth’s Attorney Zack Stoots, Ralph J. Shoemaker, 52, was convicted on one count of use of a communications device to solicit a minor.

In a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Shoemaker was sentenced to 10 years in prison with 6 years of that sentence suspended and 5 years of probation upon his release. According to the release, Shoemaker’s charge originated after he texted a 17-year-old girl to solicit sexual acts.

The release states further evidence was presented to show Shoemaker had “engaged in other sexual activity outside of Russell County,” which state police had reportedly brought to other agencies.

The victim’s father testified that Shoemaker’s contact stopped when he was incarcerated, the release said. Prosecutor Mindy Mullins used that pattern of behavior as evidence to ask the court to sentence Shoemaker above Virginia’s sentencing guideline of up to six months in prison.

“This is another sad case where an adult exploited a minor child and used text messaging to further his depravity.” Stoots further stated. “The parents in this case fought every step of the way to protect their child and my hope is this sentence will help begin the healing process.”