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Jail guard's bail is revoked in child-sex case

Roger L. Hueber Jr., a suspended Niagara County Jail guard accused in a 20-count indictment of having sexual contact with multiple teenage girls, will be behind bars until his trial, now scheduled for March 14.

County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza revoked Hueber's $25,000 bail after a 2 1/2 -hour hearing Thursday, saying she believed the testimony of one of the alleged victims.

That girl, a 17-year-old special-education student, said Hueber swerved his truck at her three times during December as she walked on City of Lockport streets.

Although Hueber, 42, of Caledonia Street, and his 18-year-old girlfriend took the witness stand to flatly deny anything of the sort happened, the judge said she found the testimony of the alleged victim credible. Hueber was sent to Orleans County Jail.

The 17-year-old, who spoke haltingly and acknowledged she had trouble remembering details, testified that Hueber's truck, which has the vanity license plate HUEBER, came at her from behind on each occasion. The last alleged incident occurred Dec. 29 and the other two before Christmas.

The second incident occurred on Prospect Street, the 17-year-old said. Her 14-year-old sister, who was present on the third occasion, said that was also the scene of the Dec. 29 incident.

Although the 17-year-old has trouble expressing herself in speech, Barbara Converso, the Lockport City School District's director of alternative education, testified the girl "writes very clearly and at a level that wouldn't appear to go along with her actual educational abilities."

Journals the girl kept under Converso's supervision, in which the 17-year-old allegedly disclosed sexual encounters with Hueber, are expected to be key evidence in the trial.

Converso said the girl told her of the incidents with the truck Jan. 11, and Converso was present when the girl reported them Jan. 17 to Sheriff's Investigator Joseph Taylor and two days later to Assistant District Attorney Caroline A. Wojtaszek.

The alleged victim said Hueber's girlfriend Meghan Doxey, 18, was a passenger in the truck for the third incident. Doxey, who testified she has been with Hueber for a year, wept when she learned Hueber was going to jail. She denied that the truck swerved.

Wojtaszek argued that the alleged victim's delay in reporting the incidents was in part attributable to her fear of Doxey, who was arrested last May and charged with witness tampering for allegedly threatening the girl. That case is still pending in City Court.

The alleged victim said on two of the three occasions, the truck came close enough for her to touch it.

Hueber was suspended from his $49,940-a-year job at the jail after his arrest March 15. However, after the 30-day unpaid period allowed in state civil service regulations, the county had to resume paying his salary although he was not allowed to work. County Human Resources Director Peter P. Lopes said Thursday the paid-suspension status could change in the next few days.

The indictment accuses Hueber of having sex with a 13-year-old girl three times in the summer of 1999, and showing pornographic materials and serving alcoholic beverages to other teenage girls, while having sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl in front of younger girls, all in the summer of 2004.

Hueber's former girlfriend Sheryl Rucci, 33, with whom he has an 8-year-old daughter, was last seen Aug. 9 and is considered a fugitive from a separate 12-count child-sex indictment. She was to testify against Hueber, and a statement she gave to police was read to the grand jury that indicted him.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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