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LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls man who has been behind bars for 16 months on a first-degree rape charge saw that indictment dismissed Friday, as he pleaded guilty to reduced charges and was promised a sentence of probation.

Christopher Thurston, 44, of Linwood Avenue, appeared before State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. to plead guilty to attempted second-degree strangulation and forcible touching. However, Thurston was expected to remain in custody on a federal detention order because of an alleged probation violation on a federal weapons possession charge in North Carolina.

Kloch set sentencing on the local charge for Dec. 12. Thurston was accused of having forcible sex with a Niagara Falls woman on the night of June 9-10, 2012, but Assistant District Attorney Robert A. Zucco said there might have been problems with proving the aspect of force to a jury.