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Ardmore man pleads guilty to amended charge in alleged sexual assault case

Sierra Rains
The Daily Ardmoreite
Braden Charles Choate-Lyles

An Ardmore man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2019 pled guilty to a lesser charge of assault with intent to commit a felony last week. 

Braden Charles Choate-Lyles, 24, received a seven-year deferred sentence with 10 weekends in the county jail and a $1,000 fine. Choate-Lyles will not be required to register as a sex offender due to the reduced charge and will only serve 20 days of jail time should he abide by the stipulations of his probation. 

He is required to complete 100 hours of community service, attend counseling services and will be under supervision for 18 months, according to Carter County court documents. 

As a part of the sentence, Choate-Lyles is required to not have any contact with the victim in person or on social media. Choate-Lyles also plead guilty to a DUI charge from April, 2020 in conjunction with the assault charge. 

Choate-Lyles was initially charged with sexual battery in June, 2020, according to Carter County court documents. The charge was filed in reference to a February, 2019 incident in which a victim advised police that she had allegedly been sexually assaulted by Choate-Lyles. 

The Ardmore Police Department launched an investigation after making contact with the victim, who was 19 years old at the time. Shortly after the initial charges were filed, APD Capt. Claude Henry told The Ardmoreite the victim had reported being at a residence with Choate-Lyles late at night. 

“They started drinking alcohol and they started to make out and it led to the suspect biting her in several places on her body,” Henry said. “She did not consent to that type of touching.” 

The original charging documents accused Choate-Lyles of pinching the victim inappropriately, biting her left thigh and scratching her back in a lewd manner. 

District Attorney Craig Ladd said the decision to amend the charges was “based upon a multitude of factors” and “a thorough consultation with the victim in the case.” Ladd said he had concerns about the ability to prove the crime of sexual battery beyond a reasonable doubt to a 12- person jury. 

“While there were concerns about our ability to prove the charge of sexual battery, we did believe the evidence to be sufficient as to the alternative charge of assault with the intent to commit the felony offense of kidnapping,” Ladd said. 

The amended charges state that Choate-Lyles held the victim down on a bed in a basement against her will with the intent to commit the felony offense of kidnapping. Choate-Lyles entered a plea of guilty to the amended charge on Jan. 13, 2021. 

“The assault left the victim physically and emotionally traumatized,” Ladd said. “After meeting with the victim and discussing different possible resolutions of the case, the victim elected to resolve the case in this fashion at my recommendation.”