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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

>Jury acquits man, 40, of molesting girl, 5

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara County Court jury deliberated for about two hours Wednesday before acquitting a Newfane man who had been accused of molesting a 5-year-old girl last June.

Joseph Johnson, 40, of Main Street, was found not guilty of first-degree sexual abuse.

State Supreme Court Justice Timothy J. Drury, called in because of a scheduling conflict for the local judges, presided over the three-day trial.

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>Forged prescriptions bring year in jail

LOCKPORT -- One year in jail was the sentence Tuesday from Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza for a Ransomville man who obtained the prescription painkiller Lortab from two area pharmacies by handing in forged prescriptions.
Bruce W. Roberts Jr., 32, of Parker Road, had pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree forgery.

The incidents occurred April 14 in Peterson's Drug Store in Newfane and three days later in Lewiston Apothecary. Co-defendant Brandon C. Walp, 22, of Mohawk Street, Lewiston, was sentenced last month to 1 1/3 to four years in prison for his part in the caper.

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>Falls man says he was stabbed, robbed

NIAGARA FALLS -- An Armory Place man told city police that a woman who knocked on his door at 4:45 a.m. Wednesday stabbed him in the arm with a kitchen knife and made off with $530.

Police said they found the 53-year-old man lying in his doorway and bleeding from his forearm.

A crew from Rural Metro ambulance responded and treated the victim, police said.

The victim said a heavy-set black woman in gray sweat pants and a gray jacket walked into his apartment after he didn't answer the door right away.

The woman said, "I know you got the money. Give me the money," the victim said, and he gave her $200.

The woman demanded more and threatened to cut him, he said, then cut his forearm.

The victim said he then gave the woman $330 more, and she left.

Police said the victim was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. Hospital spokesman Patrick Bradley said the victim was in good condition later Wednesday.

Meanwhile, an investigation was continuing.

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>Reduced drug charge brings guilty plea

LOCKPORT -- David L. Carter, 27, of Washburn Street, Lockport, pleaded guilty to a reduced drug possession charge Tuesday in Niagara County Court.
Carter is to be sentenced June 5 by Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. for attempted fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

He was arrested July 18 after a traffic stop on Outwater Drive, Lockport, for possession of crack cocaine.

In another drug case Tuesday, Carlton E. Frida, 36, of Walnut Street, Lockport, pleaded not guilty to third-degree possession and sale of cocaine. He was accused of selling the drug to a police informant in Newfane on July 26.

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>Falls man arraigned in shooting of youth

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man was arraigned Monday in Niagara County Court on charges of shooting a youth in the elbow Sept. 30 and robbing four teenagers at gunpoint in a Buffalo Avenue apartment the following day.

Brent M. Rafter, 18, of 80th Street, pleaded not guilty to four counts each of first-degree and attempted first-degree robbery and single counts of first-degree burglary, first- and second-degree criminal use of a firearm and first-degree reckless endangerment.
Assistant District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said the shooting victim, Christopher Warner, got into an altercation with some of Rafter's friends in the LaSalle area, and Rafter allegedly returned to the scene with a rifle and opened fire, wounding Warner and narrowly missing another teenager.
On Oct. 1, Rafter invaded the apartment with a rifle and demanded money. Police said Rafter stole $300.

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