A Clarence businessman and youth group volunteer is accused of molesting an 11-year-old boy.
Edward Batt, 48, of Kraus Road posted $25,000 bail to remain free on the 10-count child-molesting indictment handed up by an Erie County grand jury. He was ordered Thursday to stay away from all children under the age of 16 who are not members of his extended family.
Authorities also have evidence that Batt may have molested other boys a decade ago, prosecutor Lisa Bloch Rodwin told State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns during the arraignment.
Batt is accused of molesting the 11-year-old boy, who was a member of one of his church-related youth groups, from the summer of 1998 through last winter, Ms. Rodwin and District Attorney Frank J. Clark said outside of court.
Authorities also have an affidavit from a now-19-year-old boy who claims Batt molested him about 10 years ago, prosecutor Rodwin told the judge. But she said the statute of limitations prevents him from being charged.
Batt, one of the owners of the nearly century-old C.A. Batt Construction Corp., and his attorney, Barry Covert, both declined to comment after Covert entered an innocent plea on Batt's behalf. If convicted on all charges, he could face five to 25 years in prison.
Unsuccessfully arguing for Batt's bail to be set at $50,000 or for him to be jailed "to protect the community," Ms. Rodwin told the judge that the ongoing probe has indicated Batt "continues to have contact with other boys in the same age group" as his alleged victim. But Covert argued that Batt, who had never been charged with any type of crime, had been aware of the child-molesting investigation and voluntarily came to court Thursday with his girlfriend and female relatives.
Batt was charged with two counts of first-degree sodomy, two first-degree sexual abuse counts, five of second-degree sexual abuse and a child-endangerment count.