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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

Ex-professor jailed in child porn case

LOCKPORT -- A former Niagara University math professor was sentenced Thursday to six months in jail to start 10 years' probation on his guilty plea to having had child pornography on his computer at the university.

Richard A. Cramer-Benjamin, 42, of Sandhurst Lane, Amherst, had been undergoing treatment for 10 years to try to overcome his sexual attraction to children, said defense attorney William D. Berard III.

"Never, never was it stopped," Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza said. She quoted from a psychologist's questionnaire in which Cramer-Benjamin agreed with several provocative statements, including the proposition that children might like the feeling of being forced to have sex.

"I'm going to do my little part to see that this doesn't happen again," Sperrazza said. She could have sent Cramer-Benjamin to prison for as long as four years, but said she was confident that the psychologist he is seeing now will help him.

The professor downloaded the porn video in January, and it was found on his hard drive by university officials, who reported it to state police. Cramer-Benjamin taught his last class Feb. 4 and resigned March 29.

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Falls man enters plea to having sex with girl

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara Falls man admitted in Niagara County Court on Wednesday that he had sex with an 11-year-old girl in that city sometime in April or the first half of May.

Andre G. Williams, 19, of Tronolone Place, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted first-degree rape. He could be sentenced to as long as 15 years in prison when he returns to the courtroom of Judge Matthew J. Murphy III on Nov. 24.

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North Tonawanda man pleads guilty in sex cases

LOCKPORT -- Mark E. Price Sr., 50, of Rose Circle, North Tonawanda, pleaded guilty Thursday in Niagara County Court to sexually abusing three girls between 2005 and July of this year.

Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza agreed to a prosecution recommendation to sentence Price to no more than 20 years in prison Dec. 3 on his pleas to first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and two counts of second-degree course of sexual conduct. Price faced a maximum life sentence if he had been convicted under the original indictment charging him with predatory sexual assault.

The victims were all younger than 11 when the incidents began.

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Wheatfield lumberyard burglarized; 2 arrested

WHEATFIELD -- Niagara County sheriff's deputies apprehended two men after receiving a report early Thursday of a burglary in progress at 84 Lumber on Lockport Road.

Authorities received the tip just after 1:30 a.m. and found one of the men carrying roofing shingles to a hole in the fence of the lumberyard.

Patrick Dugan, 26, of Walmore Road, was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, petit larceny, possession of burglary tools, resisting arrest and unlawful possession of a radio device.

The second man was identified as Troy Shepherd, 20, of Whitney Avenue, Niagara Falls. Charges have not been filed against him.

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Golf cart theft leads to foot chase, arrest

LOCKPORT -- A Cottage Street man is accused of stealing a golf cart from the Lockport Town & Country Club course early Wednesday.

Kieland L. Williams, 18, was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, felony possession of stolen property, resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration, attempted burglary and assault, police said. Officer Marshall Belling said he saw Williams riding the cart along High Street onto Cottage Street shortly after 5 a.m.

Williams fled on foot, and Belling tripped on the sidewalk, injuring his hand and wrist, before arresting the suspect, police said.

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