SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A Beverly man has been sentenced to 2 ½ years in jail after pleading guilty to having sex with two girls who were 13 and 14.

Chad Soper had been charged with child rape in one of the two cases, but to spare the girls from having to testify at trial, prosecutors agreed to reduce the charges in exchange for his guilty plea. That agreement was accepted Tuesday by a Salem District Court judge.

The Salem News (http://bit.ly/1i9euGO ) reports that the 21-year-old Soper instead pleaded guilty to indecent assault and battery and unnatural acts involving a child.

Prosecutors say the assaults came to light when the 13-year-old girl feared she was pregnant.

Both girls told investigators that Soper had lied about his age.

Soper denied the allegations when questioned by police.

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Information from: The Salem (Mass.) News, http://www.salemnews.com