The man who sexually assaulted a jogger on a Summerville trail in January 2013 was sentenced Wednesday afternoon to 45 years in prison.
Michael Evans, 22, of Summerville pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
Evans sexually assaulted a 17-year-old woman on the Sawmill Branch jogging and bike trail near Bacons Bridge Road at around 1:30 p.m. Jan. 9, 2013, according to prosecutors.
Circuit Judge Maite Murphy sentenced Evans in a St. George courtroom Wednesday afternoon after he pleaded guilty. Evans was scheduled for trial Monday, according to 1st Circuit Assistant Solicitor Donald Sorenson.
Evans will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he can be eligible for parole.
The victim and both parents spoke during the plea hearing, according to prosecutors.
"They stressed the impact this had on not only her but her whole family," Sorenson said. "They talked about things they're still struggling with now, and they asked for the judge to sentence consecutive terms for the charges."
Sorenson said the victim was ready to testify in the trial that was scheduled to begin Monday against Evans.
"She's a pretty brave girl," Sorenson said. "She was ready to go to court next week if he didn't plea."
Evans spotted the 17-year-old while he was riding his bike on the trail and slapped the girl in the rear end, Sorenson said. He then knocked her down with his bike, dragged her at knife point in the woods and sexually assaulted her 30 yards from the trail, according to prosecutors.
A passerby heard her scream and approached them.
"While this was bad, it could have been a whole lot worse had he not heard her," Sorenson said.
When Evans heard the passerby, he came out of the wooded area, hopped on his bike and took off, according to prosecutors. He was later arrested.
Evans had told a friend the bike trails were a good place to get girls, according to prosecutors. Evans told the police he was high on drugs and that he didn't remember a whole lot, Sorenson said.
His prior criminal history includes an arrest for petty larceny.
"We're very pleased with the judge's sentence," Sorenson said. "It sends a pretty good message how serious it was."
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.