BELFAST, Maine — A Clinton man has pleaded guilty to the rape of an elderly woman in Liberty more than a year ago.

Larry Bruce Paul, 42, pleaded guilty on Friday to gross sexual assault, assault and aggravated criminal trespass before Justice Jeffrey Hjelm in Waldo County Superior Court on Friday. He could serve up to 10 years in prison.

Following Paul’s plea, Justice Hjelm continued sentencing and ordered that a pre-sentencing investigation be done by the Department of Probation and Parole. Hjelm also ordered that a sex offender forensic psychological examination be conducted as well.

Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker said that both the state and Paul have agreed the sentence should be 20 years in prison with all but 10 years suspended and four years probation.

“This is agreed upon except that the 10 year portion to be served is a cap recommendation and Mr. Paul will be free to argue for less time ultimately at his sentencing,” Walker said Friday. “The state obviously will be arguing that Mr. Paul should serve the entire 10 years.”

According to police records, Paul and some friends had been at the 65-year-old victim’s house drinking and playing cards on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007. Paul and his friends eventually left the woman’s home, but Paul returned later that night and kicked in the basement door.

The woman got out of bed to see what the noise was and found her basement door kicked open. At the same time, she was grabbed from behind by Paul and he put his hand over her mouth. Paul then threw the victim on her bed and raped her in her bedroom.

Paul eventually left, but not before telling the victim not to call the police and disabling her telephone. The Waldo County Sheriff’s Department investigated the case and collected evidence including a rape kit from the victim at Waldo County General Hospital.

Based on that evidence, an arrest warrant for Paul was issued and he was located a few days later in Portland while boarding a bus for Florida, and was arrested by Portland police.

Paul is being held without bail at the Waldo County Jail pending sentencing.