FARMINGTON — A Wilton man accused of choking a woman until she passed out during a sexual encounter in February was sentenced Thursday to serve 30 months of an eight-year sentence.

Steven Pare Franklin County Detention Center photo

Steven E. Pare, 50, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of aggravated assault and misdemeanor charges of domestic violence assault and unlawful sexual touching at Franklin County Superior Court.

Pare’s Alford plea was based on his belief that he is not guilty but thinks that if the state’s evidence were presented to a jury he could be found guilty.

Pare faced up to 10 years in prison on the aggravated assault charge.

A felony charge of gross sexual assault and a misdemeanor charge of violating a condition of release were dismissed in the negotiated plea agreement.

He was indicted in April.

If the matter went to trial, the victim would have testified that she came to Maine and stayed with the defendant in Wilton. The two had previously been domestic partners and occasionally still saw each other.

She would have testified that Pare choked her until she passed out during what started out as consensual sex but turned nonconsensual. Pare did not stop when she repeatedly indicated she wanted him to stop, Deputy District Attorney James Andrews said.

Testimony would have also been heard that there was bruising on the victim’s neck and signs of strangulation on her hairline. The victim also had an abrasion on her knee. The injuries were documented.

The sentence could be criticized as too lenient, Justice Robert Mullen told Pare, but it was Mullen’s understanding that the victim did not want to go to trial and “you are taking responsibility.”

After Pare serves his Department of Corrections sentence, he will serve two years of probation.

Mullen sentenced Pare to 364 days each for the sexual touching and domestic violence assault charges that will be served at the same time as the aggravated assault sentence.

Pare has been held on $10,000 cash bail at the Franklin County Jail since Feb. 27.