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MAN, 32, SENT TO PRISON FOR IMPREGNATING GIRL, 11

A judge Tuesday sentenced Leon Gant to 3 1/2 to seven years in prison for impregnating an 11-year-old girl who bore his son.

Gant, 32, of Dartmouth Avenue also was ordered to pay $650 to the girl's mother for the family's expenses in returning here from Maryland for court proceedings. Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico rebuked Gant for "the damage that you've caused here" to both the girl and her mother.

A woman identified as his wife ran from the courtroom loudly crying. Prosecutors Nancy A. Gilligan and Molly Jo Musarra said Gant pleaded guilty July 6 to felony sexual abuse and other felony charges for repeatedly raping the girl in the fall of 1997 in his former house on Lisbon Avenue. They said Gant was offered a preindictment guilty plea in the case after DNA testing confirmed he fathered the girl's son.

The prosecutors said Maryland criminal authorities contacted Buffalo police after the girl told her mother last year that she was pregnant by Gant.

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