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>Gang-rape trial delayed two months

LOCKPORT -- A trial for three 16-year-olds accused of gang-raping a 15-year-old girl last year has been postponed two months to May 7, while plea offers extended by the prosecution would include potentially heavy prison terms.

After a Niagara County Court appearance Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Antholzner wouldn't say what pleas she had offered. But a defense source said Dontre R. Woods, of Lock Street, and Nicholas M. Smith, of Crosby Avenue, both in Lockport, were offered Class C felonies with maximum 15-year prison terms, while Dartaine M. Ubiles of Frontier Avenue, Niagara Falls, was offered a Class D felony with a maximum seven-year prison term.

The victim, who has a mental disability, allegedly was attacked for 90 minutes in Woods' home May 12. A hearing was scheduled for Feb. 27 on the admissibility of statements made by the defendants to police; no decisions on pleas are expected until after that hearing. If convicted at trial, the three face up to 25 years in prison.

Antonio J. Sheppard, 16, of Gabriel Drive, pleaded guilty Dec. 12 to endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, and agreed to testify against the other three defendants.

Sheppard recorded the incident on a camera phone but later deleted the images.

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