A Casper man initially charged with five counts of rape and other alleged crimes took a plea deal in Natrona County District Court Wednesday morning.

Initially charged with multiple counts of first-degree sexual assault, Jacob Paquette entered an Alford plea to third-degree sexual assault and strangulation of a household member.

An Alford plea is a type of plea in which the accused does not specifically admit guilty. Instead, the defendant concedes that prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction should the case go to trial. For sentencing purposes, an Alford plea effectively a guilty plea.

Other charges, including aggravated assault and battery, felonious restraint and sexual explotation of children were dropped as a part of a plea deal.

Per the agreement, prosecutors will ask that Paquette serve no more than four to seven years in prison.

Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey does not have to go along with the agreement. 

Assistant Natrona County District Attorney Kevin Taheri said he can't comment on the deal until after Forgey accepts or rejects the agreement.

A sentencing date in the case has not yet been set.

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