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Creedmoor man gets 27 years for sexual abuse, photos of autistic teen

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NEW BERN — A Granville County man who sexually abused two teenagers, including a boy with autism, will spend 27 years in federal prison on child pornography charges. 

Mark Bass, 59, of Creedmoor, pleaded guilty to manufacturing child pornography in January. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced Bass to 326 months of imprisonment followed by a lifetime of supervised release, according to a press release. 

Bass is currently serving a 26-year sentence in state prisons on separate child sex charges. 

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, the sheriff's offices in Granville and Wake counties began investigating Bass in August 2017. 

An 18-year-old woman claimed Bass and sexually abused her for about a decade, beginning when she was 7 or 8 and continuing until she was 17. 

During the course of the investigation, detectives learned of a second victim, a 13-year-old boy with autism, who was also sexually abused, the release said. 

The boy told child protective services that he had endured multiple forms of abuse from Bass, and that Bass had shown the boy sexually explicit photos Bass had taken of the female victim. 

In February 2018, investigators searched Bass's home and seized evidence, including a cell phone that contained a sexually explicit photo of the boy. The evidence suggested Bass had engaged in sexual activity with the boy multiple times, the release said. 

Homeland Security Investigations assisted deputies in the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Belle Kessler prosecuted the case. 

As part of the sentence, Bass was ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution. 

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety online offender database, Bass was convicted last August of first-degree sexual offense with a child, a crime that happened in 2004, and of indecent liberties with a child, which took place in 2017. 

He is not expected to be released from state prison until 2036. If he serves out both sentences to completion, he will be released in 2069, when he is 103 years old.