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>Rape case defendant freed without bail

LOCKPORT -- An Amherst man was arraigned on a rape charge Tuesday before Niagara County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr.

Jason C. Giglia, 22, of Vine Lane, pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree rape. He is accused of sexually assaulting a woman Oct. 25 in North Tonawanda. Broderick released Giglia on his own recognizance pending further hearings.


>Worker admits fraud, repays $3,424 benefit

LOCKPORT -- A former Robinson Road resident pleaded guilty Tuesday in Niagara County Court in an 8-year-old workers' compensation fraud case.

Paul W. Montella, 39, now lives in the Pittsburgh area, according to Assistant District Attorney Charles F. Pitarresi. Montella turned himself in earlier this month after learning of a warrant charging him with grand larceny. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to petit larceny and Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. immediately granted a conditional discharge.

The condition called for Montella to pay $3,424 to Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., which he did within minutes of the court's adjournment. The company had paid Montella that amount between January and June 1998 for a workplace injury.

But Pitarresi said Montella had lied at a workers' comp hearing by saying he wasn't working at the time while actually holding a job.


>Marijuana smuggling leads to reduced plea

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls woman pleaded guilty Tuesday in Niagara County Court to charges of trying to smuggle 1.8 pounds of marijuana June 23 over the Rainbow Bridge from Canada.

Tameka Brown, 27, of North Avenue, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a felony. Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. scheduled sentencing for May 10.

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