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Two rapists sentenced to long prison terms

Two men who pleaded guilty to molesting young girls in separate incidents were given prison terms Wednesday by a judge who told them they will be under court supervision for years after being released.

Edward Sikes, 23, of Highgate Avenue, was sentenced to 24 years in prison on his Dec. 11 guilty plea to two counts of first-degree rape. He admitted repeatedly molesting two young girls of a Buffalo family he had been friends with.

A tearful Vincent Hitchcock, 24, of Cheektowaga, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for raping the 6-year-old daughter of his now-estranged girlfriend in the Cheektowaga home in which they also were raising their own infant last year.

State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski, who handled both cases, warned Sikes he will be under court supervision for five years after he is released from prison. But the judge told Hitchcock he will be under court supervision for a full 20 years after he is released.

Prosecutor Colleen Curtin Gable said Sikes benefited from the timing of his crimes. She said stiffer penalties for child molestation did not take effect until after he repeatedly molested his friends' daughters, ages 8 and 9, in his Zelmer Street home over two years ago.

Hitchcock faces much-stiffer post-release supervision because he raped his former girlfriend's young daughter last Sept. 19, long after the sex crime laws were stiffened.

Curtin Gable, who prosecuted both cases, said Sikes has been jailed since his arrest Oct. 28. She said his victims, now getting professional counseling, did not disclose to relatives what Sikes had been doing with them until early last October.

The prosecutor said Hitchcock, who pleaded guilty Nov. 19 to first-degree rape, was arrested by Cheektowaga police after his victim's mother took her to the emergency room at Women and Children's Hospital hours after the rape after finding the girl bleeding.

At the hospital, the little girl told her mother and hospital officials what Hitchcock had done to her while baby-sitting when her mother had left to visit a hospitalized relative.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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