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Sicoli convicted of misdemeanors

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara County Court jury convicted the 79-year-old founder of one of the area's leading construction companies Monday on two misdemeanor counts stemming from a confrontation behind the wheel of his sport utility vehicle.

Benjamin M. Sicoli, of North Ridge Road, Lewiston, was found guilty of third-degree assault and second-degree reckless endangerment in connection with a July 2007 incident on the construction site of a residential subdivision in Lewiston.

Thomas M. Rall, 46, of Grand Island, complained that Sicoli, founder of Sicoli & Massaro Construction, ran him down with his SUV and broke his leg. He later amended that to a sprain.

Assistant District Attorney Charles F. Pitarresi said the jury, after two hours of deliberation, acquitted Sicoli of felony assault and also rejected the options of convicting him of intentional or criminally negligent misdemeanor assault.

They convicted Sicoli on a count of reckless misdemeanor assault along with the reckless endangerment.

Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza could give Sicoli a year in jail when she sentences him Dec. 4.

Defense attorney James Roscetti said Sicoli took the stand last week and denied striking Rall, but the jury apparently didn't believe his account of the incident on Sicoli's land next to a subdivision where Rall was working as a subcontractor.

Sicoli had called police twice before to complain about trespassing.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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