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Plea deal rejected in assault on girl Would have required admitting to 2 others

LOCKPORT -- Mitchell W. Brokob, the North Tonawanda man charged with abducting a 12-year-old girl as she walked to school and sexually assaulting her at knifepoint, rejected a plea offer Thursday.

The deal would have forced him to admit to other child molestation cases in Erie County.

"After his arrest [in North Tonawanda], we learned of two other separate and distinct attacks, one involving a young girl and the other a boy," Erie County District Attorney Frank J. Clark said. "Both the victims were under the age of 11, and both occurred within the past three or four years."

Niagara County prosecutors offered to allow Brokob to plead guilty as charged to predatory sexual assault against a child, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, Assistant Public Defender Michael E. Benedict said.

The offer called for Brokob, 41, to be sentenced to no more than 25 years in prison in the Niagara County case and for any sentence in the Erie County cases to be served at the same time, Benedict said.

But Benedict said Brokob didn't want to plead guilty to the allegations in Erie County.

Niagara County Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello said the plea deal is now off the table.

"There is no plea unless it is to the indictment," she said.

The indictment charges Brokob with four counts of predatory sexual assault against a child and two counts of second-degree kidnapping, including one as a sexually motivated felony.

Clark confirmed Thursday that police and his office are investigating two other cases in which Brokob is suspected of molesting children.

"The chances are good" that Brokob will be charged in at least one of those cases, Clark said, possibly within the next week.

"Our investigations are continuing in both these cases," he said.

The prosecutor declined to specify where the two attacks occurred but said both were in Erie County, "in a community south of the City of Buffalo."

Clark said more details will be revealed if and when charges are filed against Brokob.

Benedict said the Erie County allegations accuse Brokob of molesting children in Lackawanna in 2002. Brokob grew up in that city and lived there until moving to North Tonawanda a few years ago.

Benedict also said Brokob might face a child pornography charge.

"There were computers seized [from his home]," Benedict said. "The content of those led to that [investigation]."

Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III set Nov. 10 as a tentative trial date in the North Tonawanda case, but the defense was seeking more time to prepare.

Murphy scheduled a hearing Wednesday on the legality of the seizure of the computers and the DNA sample that led to Brokob's arrest June 6.

After the March 20 attack on the 12-year-old girl in a vacant house three doors from Brokob's home on Gilmore Avenue in North Tonawanda, police went door-to-door, asking for DNA samples from about 30 men.

They were seeking a match with DNA found in the vacant house. Brokob provided a sample, and police said his DNA matched that from the house.

The girl was unable to identify her attacker, telling police he wore a mask and made her drink a dark liquid that caused her to pass out.

When she awoke about three hours later, the attacker was gone. The girl left by tying sheets and blankets together to make a rope and shinnying out a second-story window.

Murphy already has ruled that items police had seized in Brokob's home under a search warrant will be admissible at the trial. Donatello wouldn't specify what those items were.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com and dherbeck@buffnews.com

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