A Mandan man accused of raping a teenage girl pleaded guilty March 26 to three felony sex crimes.
Thomas Weber, who is in his late 30s, entered an Alford plea to two counts of sexual assault, gross sexual imposition and contributing to the deprivation of a minor, a misdemeanor. One of the felonies carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. An Alford plea means Weber doesn't admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence to find him guilty. The court treats it like a guilty plea.
Defense attorney Christopher Redmann told the Tribune that a plea agreement was reached that calls for a sentence lower than the mandatory minimum for the charges. He declined to disclose the details. He said Weber maintains his innocence and that "significant factual and evidentiary disputes exist."
Weber was accused of raping the girl and touching her inappropriately at a residence where he was drinking alcohol with her and other teens in July, according to court documents.
The court will conduct a presentencing investigation.
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