SOUTHINGTON - A local teen pleaded guilty Wednesday in New Britain Superior Court in a 2017 sexual assault case.
Ethan Czarniewski, 18, is expected to be sentenced on Nov. 13 to 10 years in prison, suspended after nine months, with 10 years probation, after pleading guilty to risk of injury to a child under the Alford doctrine.
State Prosecutor Brett Salafia said police learned from a 15-year-old girl that she and Czarniewski went to his house on Meriden Avenue the afternoon of Sept. 1, 2017, after riding the school bus together. Czarniewski, who was 16 at the time, and the girl went to his bedroom where he held her down, and performed sex acts without her consent, Salafia said.
He was previously facing additional charges of first-degree sexual assault with the use of a threat of force and second-degree unlawful restraint. He is represented by public defender Michael Isko.
An Alford plea is when a defendant doesn’t agree with all the facts in the case, but pleads guilty to avoid going to trial, which could result in a harsher sentence. If Czarniewski was found guilty after a trial, he could have received up to 20 years in prison, Judge Maureen Keegan said.
As part of his probation, Czarniewski is expected to receive sex offender requirements, which would include complying with the sex offender registry for 10 years. The victim and her family were in support of the agreement, Salafia said.