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CROWN POINT — A Hobart man pleaded guilty Thursday to two lower-level felony counts in connection with allegations he sexually assaulted a grandmother and threatened to kill her family.

Christopher M. Novak, 43, admitted to level 5 felony criminal confinement and level 6 felony sexual battery in connection with the attack on a then-63-year-old woman in August 2018 while she was visiting her relative's Hobart home.

Novak had been facing three level 3 felony counts of rape, the sexual battery count and two level 6 felony counts of intimidation.

Prosecutors added the criminal confinement count Thursday. In exchange for Novak's plea to the two counts, the state agreed to dismiss all remaining charges, Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Jessica Arnold said.

The woman told police she was sleeping in a bed with her family members when Novak woke her up and threatened to "get it" from her 5-year-old granddaughter if she did not perform a sex act.

She alleged he raped her for more than two hours, but she did not go to police until last winter out of fear for her family's safety, records say.

Novak admitted in the plea agreement he forced the woman to touch his genitals, threatened to kill her family and caused her injury by confining her against her will.

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Novak appeared Thursday before Lake Criminal Court Judge Diane Boswell with defense attorney Adrian Guzman.

If Boswell accepts Novak's plea agreement, he would face a sentence of six years on the criminal confinement count and two years on the sexual battery charge. The sentences would run concurrently, and Novak would be incarcerated for 2 ½ years, placed in the Lake County Community Corrections work-release program for 1 ½ years and serve two years on probation. 

Novak also would be required to register as a sex offender and continue to comply with a no-contact order for the victim until he completes probation.

Novak admitted he was drunk the night of the sexual assault, according to a plea agreement.

He will have to obtain a substance abuse evaluation and comply with any recommendations as part of his plea agreement.

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.