A Halifax man has admitted to a sex crime against a child.

Stan Lowther, 39, pleaded guilty Thursday to one charge of sexual assault. He twisted his hands and stared at the floor as he whispered his plea, the CBC's Jennifer Henderson reported.

Lowther is a former soccer coach, but the charges are not related to his coaching career.

The victim, who cannot be identified, was 12 when the abuse began.

"It is a terrible crime. Mr. Lowther took advantage of the young individual and it went on for a long time," prosecutor Rick Woodburn told reporters.

The abuse continued for six years, before she told a family member, who then went to police.

The victim was in Nova Scotia Supreme Court for Lowther's plea.

"I can say this about the victim, she's strong and courageous for coming forward. It's a very difficult thing to do," Woodburn said.

Lowther resigned from coaching boys' soccer at the Halifax Christian Academy and Halifax County United last December, after the charges were laid.

Woodburn withdrew five lesser charges when Lowther pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Lowther will be sentenced Sept. 21, after several victim impact statements are read. The Crown is seeking a prison term of between four and eight years.

Lowther is free on bail until the sentencing hearing.

He has one prior conviction for assault causing bodily harm.