LOCKPORT – A jury had been selected for the trial of Christopher P. Gordon, accused of predatory sexual assault, when the defense lawyer learned that a second accuser, not named in the original indictment, had come forward.
That led to a round of plea negotiations that resulted in Gordon, 46, of Niagara Falls, pleading guilty to a reduced charge on the original indictment.
In exchange, he received a promise of a 10-year prison sentence. That is the minimum for a person convicted for the second time of a sexual assault on a minor.
"They were threatening to prosecute on the other" boy, Assistant Public Defender Christopher A. Privateer explained on why he worked out the plea deal.
The boy listed as the victim in the indictment is now 16, while the new accuser, also male, is older, Privateer said.
Niagara County First Assistant District Attorney Holly E. Sloma said she offered Gordon a plea to attempted first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child "in order to avoid the victim having to testify, and with the consent of the victim and the family."
The crimes charged in the indictment occurred from July 2013 to July 2015. If Gordon had been convicted as charged, he faced a potential life sentence. The 10-year sentence is to be imposed June 23 by Justice John L. Michalski.
Gordon already was listed as a Level 1 sex offender because of a 1999 conviction for third-degree sodomy. He served six months in jail and five years' probation for that.
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