Dismissal of indictment leads to change in policy
LITTLE VALLEY -- The dismissal of an indictment of an accused rapist in Cattaraugus County Court has led to a change in policy in the district attorney's office to challenge court decisions.
County Judge Larry M. Himelein on Dec. 22 dismissed the indictment because the prosecution failed to provide an arraignment within the required 184 days -- missing that deadline by a single day.
Ronald B. Scott, 33, of Olean, who was arrested in March, had been accused of molesting two girls younger than 13 between summer and December 2009 in the City of Olean. He was indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and had pleaded not guilty.
District Attorney Lori P. Rieman said, "My office has already filed a notice of appeal. I feel that the decision is contrary to precedents upon which we rely when calculating time. I also feel that we have a good chance to prevail. It is now our office's policy to challenge decisions we feel are incorrect."
Public Defender Mark S. Williams, who represented Scott, said, "Whenever a case ends this way with a dismissal on a technicality it leaves a very bad feeling. Scott has always maintained his innocence of the allegations against him. We have no reason to doubt him and believe his innocence would have been proven had this case proceeded to trial. We are pleased the charges have been dismissed and that Scott can get on with his life."
Ruling upholds committal to mental institution
The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a judge's decision to commit an Orleans County sex offender to a state mental institution.
Michael C. Motzer, 28, formerly of Lyndonville, was committed in July 2009 by State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. After a hearing, Kloch ruled that Motzer had violated the terms of his parole by attending an April 2009 free food giveaway in a poor neighborhood of Niagara Falls. Children were present at the gathering.
Motzer had admitted having a mental abnormality that makes him liable to commit more sex crimes. In March 2009, Kloch had placed him on a strict parole regimen. One of its rules was staying away from children.
Motzer had left state prison in January 2009 after serving five years for raping a woman in Orleans County twice in September 2002. He had a previous statutory rape conviction in Orleans County. Motzer had been in state prison awaiting the outcome of the appeal of his commitment.
Gambian man is detained following border arrest
A Gambian man wanted on charges of credit card fraud was arrested Thursday at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.
Ebrima Sumareh, 26, was detained while being returned to the United States by Canadian authorities who barred him from entering their country earlier in the day. He told Customs and Border Patrol officials that he was a U.S. citizen, born and raised in the Bronx, and presented a passport to prove his claim.
A check of his fingerprints revealed his true identity. Additional record checks revealed that Sumareh had an active federal arrest warrant issued by the U.S. Secret Service on Dec. 14 charging him with the illegal use of a credit card.
Sumareh eventually told officials he stole the passport from his cousin and was aware of his active warrant of arrest. He further stated that he had recently escaped from a halfway house in Ohio, where he was being held pending federal prosecution.
He was arrested and charged with false claim to citizenship, fraud and false statements. He is being detained in the Niagara County Jail.
Mayville couple hurt in crash with truck
MAYVILLE -- A Mayville couple was injured about 6:30 p.m. Thursday when their car struck the rear of a garbage truck, Chautuaqua County sheriff's deputies said.
James Willcockson, 73, and his wife, Joyce, 72, were both transported by ambulance to Westfield Hospital for treatment and evaluation.
Deputies said James Willcockson was driving west on Route 394 in the village when the car struck the garbage truck, which was legally parked with its flashers on. The condition of the couple was not available.
Two facing charges in violent store holdup
Buffalo police arrested two West Side men on felony charges after a violent holdup Wednesday night at a small store on West Ferry Street.
Police accuse the suspects of beating up two people inside the Island Mini Mart, 232 W. Ferry, about 7:30 p.m. and said one of the men tried to use a claw hammer to strike an officer who arrived at the crime scene. That officer fired a shot in defense, but no one was injured, police said.
Charged with first-degree robbery were Tyrone Bradley Jr., 23, and Armando Torres, 25, both of Massachusetts Avenue.
An additional charge of attempted assault on a police officer was filed against Torres, who unsuccessfully tried to use the hammer to clobber a police officer in the head, police spokesman Michael DeGeorge said.