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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

>Sexual predator gets 20-year prison term

LOCKPORT -- A man who was charged as a sexual predator was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison, followed by 20 years of parole-like post-release supervision, by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza.

James G. Farley, 51, of Scovell Street, had pleaded guilty Sept. 25 to first-degree criminal sexual act for having sexual contact with a 12-year-old boy here between April and July of this year. Farley pleaded guilty before indictment; had he been indicted for and convicted of predatory sexual assault, he would have faced up to life behind bars.

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>Plea bargain taken in case of child sexual abuse

LOCKPORT -- A Buffalo man whose trial on child sexual abuse charges was to have begun today accepted a plea bargain Tuesday before Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. in Niagara County Court.

Timothy M. Gilpatrick Jr., 26, of Boyd Street, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted first-degree sexual abuse. Assistant District Attorney Stephen J. Foley said Gilpatrick faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 15.

Gilpatrick was charged with molesting a then-6-year-old girl in Lockport and Wheatfield during the summer of 2004. If he had been convicted on the original indictment, he faced a maximum sentence of 25 years.

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>Charges against man shot by deputy still pending

NIAGARA FALLS -- Charges are still pending against a man Niagara County sheriff's deputies say was shot in the stomach after he raised a gun toward a deputy Sunday.

The Cayuga Village man, Michael J. Rew, 40, faces possible charges of menacing or attempted assault, Sheriff Thomas Beilein said.

A paperboy said he saw Rew sitting outside his home with a shotgun beside him, and the boy's mother called police.

At 5:20 a.m., a deputy approached the home, and Rew picked up a gun and pointed it at the deputy, who fired one shot from his department-issued pistol to protect himself, Beilein said.

Rew remained in intensive care in Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, on Tuesday after undergoing surgery Sunday.

Niagara County District Attorney Matthew J. Murphy III said Tuesday that it would be necessary for the Sheriff's Office to review the case and give him a written report by the end of the week.

Murphy said it is common for the Sheriff's Office to investigate itself unless there are charges of wrongdoing against a deputy, which he said does not appear to be the case here.

Beilein said the unnamed deputy is a Sheriff's Office veteran and would be on leave during the investigation. He would not name the deputy.

Investigator Daniel Brown said deputies have talked to Rew's family.

"At this point, we are . . . just collecting evidence," Brown said.

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>Crash probe continues into who was driving

NEWFANE -- Niagara County sheriff's deputies said they were closer Tuesday to figuring out what happened a day earlier in a rollover crash on Checkered Tavern Road.

Alcohol use contributed to the crash, in which neither of the two occupants of the vehicle would admit to being behind the wheel, deputies said.

Deputies, on the advice of Assistant District Attorney Theodore Brenner, charged Mark K. Gilbert, 46, of Bishop Road, with aggravated unlicensed operation and driving while intoxicated. Deputies said that when they arrived at the crash scene, they found Gilbert about 30 feet from the car, which ended up in a ditch.

He told deputies he had six beers before the crash but didn't remember what happened or if he was driving, according to a report released Tuesday.

His wife, Leona Heigl-Gilbert, 58, was rescued from inside the car. She originally said she had been driving and had drunk approximately 12 beers but later told deputies that she had lied and her husband had been driving.

Heigl-Gilbert said she and her husband were having an argument and that she had pulled on the steering wheel, causing the vehicle to overturn, which ultimately ejected her husband, deputies said.

Blood was drawn from both husband and wife, and blood-alcohol test results are pending. Both were treated in Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo.

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