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Niagara Falls man in county court on rape charge

LOCKPORT – A Niagara Falls man pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court Monday to an indictment accusing him of raping a woman May 27.

Christopher James, 47, of Spring Street, is charged with first-degree rape, third-degree assault, criminal obstruction of breathing and two counts of second-degree kidnapping.

Assistant District Attorney Cheryl L. Nichols said a woman who had broken off a relationship with James but thought she had remained on friendly terms with him visited James’ apartment, where the incident allegedly occurred. Defense attorney James J. Faso Jr. said the woman allegedly accused James of unlawful imprisonment a week before the alleged rape.

County Judge Sara Sheldon ordered James held in lieu of $50,000 bail. Nichols said James has 25 prior convictions, all misdemeanors except for two drug sale felonies.