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MAN ACQUITTED OF KIDNAPPING FACES RAPE CHARGE IN AMHERST

A Blasdell man was arrested early Sunday in the alleged rape of a 36-year-old Amherst woman he reportedly followed home from a bar in the Millersport Highway area.

The arrest came less than a week after an Erie County Court jury acquitted Adam C. Pritchard of trying to kidnap a 16-year-old Orchard Park girl.

County Judge John V. Rogowski, who will sentence Pritchard Feb. 2 on his misdemeanor unlawful imprisonment and harassment conviction in the Orchard Park case, today ordered him to remain jailed without bail pending grand jury action in the rape case.

Pritchard, 31, also spent eight months in jail two years ago in a Blasdell sex-abuse case.

Amherst police arrested him on the complaint of the Amherst woman, who told them he followed her home after they became friendly in several Amherst bars early Sunday morning.

Prosecutor James DeMatteo told Rogowski that the rape and sodomy case will go to a grand jury.

DeMatteo confirmed the Amherst arrest but declined to comment on reports from law enforcement sources that the woman let Pritchard into her home on Harlem Road after he followed her from bars where they had been hugging and kissing.

Pritchard told the woman he wanted "to talk," and she let him in her flat, and after they began kissing, he said, "we're going to do it" and began raping the struggling woman, a source said. The woman and her boyfriend later called police about the incident.

A County Court jury acquitted Pritchard of a felony attempted-kidnapping charge in the Orchard Park case because the panel couldn't come to an agreement on his criminal intent in that case. He still faces a one-year jail term for that incident.

The new case could carry a possible 25-year prison term, court officials said.

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