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POLICE & COURTS - Niagara

Man admits raping mentally impaired girl

ALBION -- A 46-year-old village man pleaded guilty Thursday to raping a 14-year-old mentally impaired girl in February and now faces up to seven years behind bars.

In exchange for the plea before Orleans County Judge James P. Punch, charges that George Marzam of West Bank Street raped a homeless woman in his home last December were dropped.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree rape instead of risking the consequences if found guilty after a trial scheduled to start Tuesday, authorities said.

"This was a solid case, and once the DNA came back I think he realized his chances of winning weren't good," said District Attorney Joseph V. Cardone.

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Citizen helps in arrest of suspect in theft

LOCKPORT -- A citizen helped make an arrest in a suspected theft on Wednesday night.

A Walnut Street man told Lockport police that he was walking to his parked car at 11:40 p.m. in the Lockview Plaza parking lot when he saw a man standing by his car with the door open, the glove compartment open and items strewn about his passenger seat.

The man held the suspect while his girlfriend called police, according to reports.

Police said they found the Walnut Street man's car keys in the suspect's pocket.

Kenneth D. Walker, 17, of Prospect Street, was charged with petit larceny.

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$8,000 cash stolen from woman's minivan

NIAGARA FALLS -- A woman who didn't trust banks and had been storing thousands of dollars in her vehicle had the money stolen Wednesday afternoon.

The 71-year-old woman was staying at her son's home on D Street and told police that $8,000 in cash was taken from her minivan. She said the envelope was in a purse, which she had hidden between the front seats.

She told police she had the money in her van because she didn't trust banks. Her son told police that his mother had removed the money from the bank and had been carrying the cash around for the past three months.

Police said there was no sign of forced entry or damages but did find that a passenger side window was open a few inches.

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Police accuse man of threat with gun

NIAGARA FALLS -- A city man was jailed Thursday after being charged in City Court with threatening a man with a handgun.

Christopher Curtis Johnson, 18, of Depot Avenue, pleaded not guilty to felony criminal mischief, menacing, resisting arrest and obstructing government administration.

He was held in Niagara County Jail in lieu of bail of $6,000 cash or $12,000 property.

Johnson is accused of kicking in a man's door on Ferry Avenue on Sept. 13 and continually kicking the door until he shattered the glass, then coming back two hours later with a handgun and threatening the man.

Police further reported that when they went to question Johnson on Wednesday, he failed to comply with officers, ran into a home on Ashland Avenue and hid in a third-floor attic.

Johnson was arrested at the Ashland Avenue home Wednesday afternoon.

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