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MAN ACCUSED OF LACING DRINK TO INDUCE ABORTION

A Wyoming County man is accused of trying to induce an abortion in an acquaintance by lacing her soft drink with a veterinary drug used on cattle for the same purpose, state police in Warsaw said Thursday.

Danny R. Court, 24, of Pavilion, was arrested Wednesday on a seldom-used charge of second-degree abortion, as well as assault and petit larceny. What began as a stolen-calf investigation led to the case against Court, who allegedly stole the drug from a farm where he had worked, said Investigator Neil Conte.

The abortion charge, a Class E felony punishable by a maximum of four years in prison, applies to "an abortional act upon a female," outside of those considered justifiable.

That charge is rarely lodged. "It really isn't common, because most people go to clinics nowadays," Conte said.

The young woman, identified only as a 19-year-old native of Perry, suffered some side effects, but did not miscarry because of the drug, said Conte, who worked on the case with Investigator Joseph Commisso. "We still advised her to seek further medical attention," Conte said.

A veterinarian consulted by investigators reportedly said it was unknown if the drug would induce an abortion in a human, and if so, what dosage would be required, the investigator said.

It was in December that police were called to investigate the theft of a calf from a Wyoming County farm where Court worked, Conte said. Interviews with other employees yielded information about Court's alleged theft of the drug and what he planned to do with it.

The drug, a liquid that is not a controlled substance, typically is used for animal breeding purposes -- including inducing abortions. It is injected into muscles.

The drug contains hormones that could affect a woman's reproductive system, according to information gleaned from several Web sites.

Conte asked that The Buffalo News not publish the name of the drug because others might try to use it similarly.

"I have never seen anything even close to this. I've never investigated an attempted abortion where a veterinary drug . . . was used," Conte said.

Following arraignment before Covington Town Justice Paul Dougherty, Court was sent to Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

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