Outside a Delaware Avenue coffee shop, Kenneth V. Doolin struck up an acquaintance with a 15-year-old boy.
Doolin, 58, gave the teen-ager cigarettes, liquor and money. Within about a month -- in the fall of 1998 -- he had what he was seeking: illicit sex with the youth at Doolin's Connecticut Avenue flat.
On Thursday, Doolin was sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation on guilty pleas to sodomy and child endangerment.
The prosecutor said the case should serve as a warning to families throughout Western New York.
"Tell parents to pay attention to where their teen-agers are going and who they are associating with," said Lisa Bloch Rodwin, chief of the district attorney's sex crime bureau. "You need to be involved in your children's lives, because there are predators in our community and on our streets."
Like Doolin, she said, they are effective at what they do.
"If you're a pedophile interested in teen-agers, you're going to know where they hang out," Rodwin said. "Pedophiles have spent a lifetime learning how to approach and entrap their victims. It's called 'grooming.' "
The victim's father told State Supreme Court Justice Mario Rossetti that his son cooperated with police and prosecutors to help prevent the molestation of other teens.
"We're not desirous of revenge, but of justice," the father said. "I feel Mr. Doolin should receive the sentence that is going to keep him away from any person he could harm in this way for the longest period of time."
Rodwin said Rossetti could have sentenced Doolin to up to four years in prison, but that the defendant would probably be out within 2 1/2 years, and could not be placed on probation after that.
Six months was the longest sentence the judge could impose and still subject Doolin to probation, she said. But because Doolin spent nearly six months in jail following his arrest, he will be released shortly.
Rossetti ordered the defendant, who has bipolar schizophrenia, to take his prescription medication, but no other drugs or alcohol. He also directed him to take part in counseling and to avoid being in the company of anyone younger than 16.
The victim's father said his son, though "resilient and healthy," is recovering from deep psychological wounds.
"Just saying sorry is meaningless," said Doolin, who is diabetic and was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. Michael P. Clohessy, defense attorney, said Doolin's sentiments are sincere.
"There is remorse," he told the judge. "This man is not beyond redemption."