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>Falls man admits to rape of 16-month-old girl

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man admitted in Niagara County Court Thursday that he raped a 16-month-old girl last year.

Charles W. Payne Jr., 21, of Niagara Avenue, pleaded guilty to first-degree rape in the Jan. 8, 2008, incident. Defense attorney James J. Faso said the prosecution had an adult eyewitness to the incident, as well as DNA and other medical evidence against Payne.

Payne is mentally retarded, Faso said during a previous court appearance. Payne had pleaded guilty Nov. 3 to attempted second-degree burglary in a separate case involving a Nov. 17, 2007, break-in at a house on 13th Street in Niagara Falls, where computer games were stolen.
Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III scheduled sentencing in both cases for March 19. Payne faces a maximum of 32 years in state prison. A co-defendant in the burglary, Darren D. Shine, 21, of Fifth Street, Niagara Falls, is serving four years in prison.


>$2,000 restitution ordered in 18th Street burglary

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man pleaded guilty Thursday in Niagara County Court to breaking into a home in Niagara Falls on June 9.

Jose Rios-Baez, 34, of Fifth Street, admitted to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree burglary and agreed to pay $2,000 in restitution to the resident of the burglarized home on 18th Street. Judge Matthew J. Murphy III will impose a further sentence April 9. Rios-Baez could be sent to prison for up to seven years.


>Sting nets 4 clerks on beer sale charges

LOCKPORT -- A sting operation at city convenience stores last weekend led to charges of unlawfully dealing with a child against four clerks, city police said.

Police reported Wednesday that they used two 19-year-olds as part of the operation led by Capt. Anthony Palumbo, and had them make undercover buys of beer on Sunday morning. The legal age for buying alcoholic drinks is 21, thus the dealing-with-a-child charge.

A clerk at Frank's Deli, at 414 West Ave., Philip B. Tasselmyer, 44, of Ridgeview Drive, Town of Tonawanda, was charged with two counts of unlawfully dealing with a child because he allowed his 14-year-old son to sell alcohol to the undercover decoys, police said.

Also charged with selling to the minors were: Brandy L. Troy, 20, of Walnut Street, Newfane, a clerk at Rite Aid at 459 S. Transit St.; Joann M. Remacle, 41, of Akron Street, a clerk at Kenyon's Variety, 1201 Lincoln Ave.; and Wael A. Isa, 33, of Apple Court, Niagara Falls, a clerk at Convenient One Stop, 322 Hawley St.

All four were issued appearance tickets for City Court on the misdemeanor charge.


>Guilty pleas entered in two drug cases

LOCKPORT -- Two Niagara Falls men admitted to cocaine possession in separate cases Thursday in Niagara County Court.
Antonio J. Lamar, 19, of 24th Street, pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He had .19 of an ounce of cocaine with him when police stopped his car March 11 in the 100 block of Niagara Avenue, Niagara Falls. Judge Matthew J. Murphy III scheduled him for sentencing April 9.
Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza scheduled sentencing April 23 for Corry L. Jackson, 30, of Ninth Street, who admitted to fourth-degree possession. Jackson was arrested March 10 when police raided a vacant apartment in the 600 block of Ninth Street and found more than one-eighth ounce of cocaine.

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