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JUDGE SAYS CORNELIUS BENNETT MUST DO JAIL TIME IN SEX ASSAULT

Cornelius Bennett must serve a jail term for sexually assaulting a Buffalo woman, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The 60-day jail term imposed on the Atlanta Falcons star was "fully justified" by Bennett's "vicious acts" in a hotel room here last spring, Erie County Judge John V. Rogowski said.

Bennett, who was in Atlanta Tuesday, will be ordered to surrender at Buffalo City Court Tuesday to serve his term at the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden, according to prosecutor Raymond C. Herman III.

City Judge Robert T. Russell Jr., who could have sent Bennett to jail for up to a year, also fined him $1,000, ordered him to pay $617.26 of his victim's hospital bills, perform 100 hours of community service, undergo anger-management counseling and submit to drug and substance-abuse counseling.

Unless he misbehaves in jail, Bennett will only have to spend 40 days in custody and will probably be designated an inmate trustee by jail officials, court officials said.

In upholding the sentence, Rogowski said he reviewed all the records in the case, including the "numerous testimonials" to Bennett's good works, but he had to weigh them against evidence of Bennett's "degrading, vicious acts" in the hotel room.

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