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Todd Schulz, a Buffalo factory worker, pleaded guilty Monday to stiffer criminal charges lodged against him for molesting a 7-year-old girl after he protested the plea deal he got from prosecutors last spring.

Jailed since July 2003, Schulz, 37, was told by State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia that he expects to cap his prison term at 7 1/2 years when he is brought back for sentencing Dec. 8.

Without comment, Schulz pleaded guilty to first-degree sodomy and first-degree sex abuse charges lodged after he was allowed to withdraw the guilty plea he entered last March 15 to a charge of first-degree attempted sodomy. That plea had come on the eve of an expected jury trial.

Prosecutor Scott F. Riordan said Schulz pleaded guilty as charged Monday for molesting the little girl, whose family he knew quite well, at his former Southside Avenue home sometime in March 2003. The girl could not recall the exact date, the prosecutor said. Schultz was arrested for the incident July 27, 2003, Riordan said.

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