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PRISON TERM ORDERED IN 3 'DATE RAPES'

Kenneth Smyers, 28, of Menands will spend at least 17 2/3 years in state prison after being sentenced Tuesday for "date rape" incidents involving three women he worked with as kitchen supervisor at a popular Mexican restaurant in suburban Colonie.

Albany County Judge W. Thomas Keegan, who labeled Smyers a "sexual predator," gave him a maximum prison term of 53 years on his Dec. 19 conviction. Before sentencing, Smyers proclaimed his innocence and asked why, if he had committed such crimes, it had taken the women involved so long to make complaints to authorities.

A total of five women, all co-workers, testified they were attacked by Smyers, but some didn't accuse him until several months after the incidents. Smyers was acquitted on rape and attempted-sexual-abuse charges in attacks on two of the women.

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