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Falls man gets 20 years for molesting 8-year-old girl

LOCKPORT — Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza sentenced a Niagara Falls man to 20 years in prison Friday for molesting a girl for as long as four years.

Andres R. Perez, 35, of Cleveland Avenue, had pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual act.

Sperrazza said a letter from the 8-year-old girl said the abuse began when she was in prekindergarten. It continued until February of this year.

"This case had its own particular brand of horror," Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello said. "[Perez] committed these acts in front of her siblings while the mother was working, trying to have a life, and he referred to it as baby-sitting."

Donatello said Perez would slap the girl in the head if he wasn't satisfied with her performance.

Assistant Public Defender A. Joseph Catalano said Perez instructed him immediately to work out a plea, making no effort to defend himself against the charges.

Sperrazza praised Perez for not trying to blame the crime on his heroin and alcohol addictions or on his diagnosed mental illness. After he completes his prison sentence, he will be subject to 20 years of parolelike post-release supervision.

In other court action Friday, a North Tonawanda man who stabbed another man in the hallway of his Stenzil Street apartment house avoided jail time.

Judge Matthew J. Murphy III sentenced Kyle L. Jesse, 25, to five years' probation and 40 hours of community service. He had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree assault stemming from the July 6 incident.

Jesse said he thought his wife and infant son were in danger from the other man. "I was never intending to hurt anybody. I was just trying to protect my family," he said.

Murphy noted that Jesse violated probation on a 2002 conviction and ended up in jail, but he said, "I'll give you a try."

Sperrazza gave a break to Cozell Ferrell Jr., 31, of Pierce Avenue, Niagara Falls, who had pleaded guilty for the second time in three years to attempted third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. He sold cocaine in the Town of Niagara Sept. 3.

Instead of sending him to state prison for as long as 5z years, Sperrazza assigned Ferrell to the state prison system's drug treatment program at Willard Correctional Facility for 90 days. If he fails in that program, he will serve 18 months behind bars.

Sperrazza said the sentence would not endanger the public. But she warned Ferrell that if he ever returns to her court on another charge, she will give him the maximum sentence for whatever it is.

Also expected to be sent to Willard, although the sentencing won't occur until Oct. 8, is John C. Shaw, 39, of Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls.

He pleaded guilty Friday before Sperrazza to fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, which was jewelry stolen from a home on Walnut Street in Lockport on Sept. 23.

Shaw, who racked up his seventh felony conviction, blamed the crime on his drug-using ways. He's currently serving time for violating parole and has another felony charge pending in Erie County.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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