By Jim Melwert

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — On the day his trial was to begin, a Montgomery County lawyer accused of sexually assaulting his client while she was passed out drunk has pleaded guilty to a charge of rape.

As he got on the elevator after his hearing on Tuesday, Vincent Cirillo, Jr. said he had to plead guilty for his family because the chance of conviction on the other charges was just too much of a risk.

He entered an open guilty plea to felony first degree rape of an unconscious person, and will be sentenced at a later date.

“The defendant having pled guilty and admitting to what he has done, I think, will help the victim move on and gain closure,” said prosecutor Stew Ryan, “but his conduct, I think, will have to be answered for.”

Cirillo faces four to 5-1/2 years in prison. Several other charges, including first degree felonies, will be withdrawn.

His attorney, Nino Tinari calls Cirillo a good man, but says the period of time this happened was an aberration.

“He wanted to get this matter behind him,” Tinari said. “He didn’t want to put the court nor the victim to the test.”

According to the criminal complaint, in August, 2015, Cirillo was drinking at his client’s apartment. She told police she blacked out and never gave consent. The complaint says police found photos on Cirillo’s phone of the victim, apparently passed out over a 25-minute span.