A man who sexually assaulted a woman while she was passed out in a Stafford County home last May was convicted of two felony charges Thursday.

Christopher Michael Hitt, 30, of Spotsylvania County entered Alford pleas in Stafford Circuit Court to attempted rape and aggravated sexual battery. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when he is sentenced March 22.

As part of a plea agreement Hitt signed Thursday, a rape charge was reduced and another felony charge was dropped. The Alford pleas mean Hitt does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is sufficient evidence to convict him.

According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Amy Casey, Hitt and the victim were part of a group of friends and acquaintances who went to various businesses and restaurants on May 12 into the morning of the 13th. The night included a good bit of drinking.

The group ended up at a married couple’s home in Olde Forge subdivision in southern Stafford. The women are good friends with the victim, who often spent nights at their home.

After the highly intoxicated victim threw up a couple of times, the evidence shows, she was placed in bed to sleep it off. Other members of the group checked on her from time to time.

On one of the checks, one of the married women was surprised to find the bedroom door closed. She opened it and saw Hitt on top of the still-unconscious victim, who now was wearing no pants or underwear.

Hitt was ordered to leave the house, and the woman was taken to the hospital after her friends were able to wake her up. The victim, now 22, has no memory of any encounter with Hitt, but his DNA was recovered from her body.

At a preliminary hearing, Detective Tim Covington testified that Hitt told him that he got permission from the woman to lay down beside her to go to sleep. The detective said Hitt claimed he asked the woman, “What are you doing?” after she began rubbing against him. He quoted the woman as saying, “Don’t worry about it. I’m OK.”

By Thursday, Hitt apparently decided he did not want to try that story in front of a jury. Attorney John Mell is representing Hitt.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404 kepps@freelancestar.com

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